Halos: Beer, bodily fluids being dumped in the book drop.

    Incidents of vandalism on the Crookston Library property have renewed a push for the purchase and installation of security cameras both inside the facility and on its exterior.

    Crookston Library Board Member Brian Halos told members of the Crookston City Council this week, at a Ways & Means Committee meeting, that beer and various body fluids are being dumped in the book drop, and other types of vandalism are occurring as well.

    The library board a couple years ago set aside $4,000 a year for two years in order to have enough money to buy seven cameras, Halos said. But when the library unexpectedly over the winter needed a new boiler, the $8,000 earmarked for the cameras was instead applied toward the cost of the boiler.

    "We understand the need to use that money for the boiler, but we'd like to get a handle on the incidents that are occurring," Halos told the committee.

    The board got some bids a few years ago, but updated numbers will need to be gathered. Halos is holding out hope that in the years since camera technology has not only improved, but it's possibly less expensive as well. The plan is to have a DVR unit in a storage room at the library that would record surveillance video that could be viewed when an incident occurs, he explained.

    Mayor Dave Genereux noted that the Friends of the Library, which last year was looking to potentially invest in a digital sign outside the library but eventually backed away from the project, might want to invest some money in security cameras. Saying he couldn't speak for the FOL, Halos said they might want to contribute some money toward the effort.

    It's possible that money for the cameras won't be allocated until the 2014 budget. Halos said that's acceptable, as long as everyone understands that security cameras are needed at some point relatively soon.

    "Is it an absolute emergency? No," he said. "But the library staff would like to get something done. Some of these incidents are pretty unpleasant."