City Proposes Taking Over Hunt Library

The date for this item going before the city council has changed to TBA (to be announced)

The Hunt Library Ad-hoc Committee met to hear proposals from Olive Community Services and the City of Fullerton on April 3, 2023. After a presentation by Deputy City Manager Daisy Perez, the ad-hoc committee approved the City Proposal to go before the city council on TBA. Below is the City Proposal presented to the Hunt ad-hoc committee by Daisy Perez, Deputy City Manager. (Other costs, such as the Museum of Teaching and Learning Exhibit, were added later, and the presentation is still being composed by city staff).

According to Ellen Ballard, “The City Plan answers all the criteria and mission statements of the Ad Hoc Committee, which was to open the Hunt to a much-needed library, a community resource, and a meeting place for art, music, and other cultural events. The City takes the lead with program development. The other proposals, however worthy they were, called for projects that were not within the scope of advisement from the Ad Hoc Committee. Eric Levitt, the City Manager, and his staff have been resourceful and listened to community members’ comments. The City Plan allows plans for the Hunt to move forward and become a destination place for the greater Fullerton community.”

Molly McClanahan acknowledged and thanked Egleth Nunci for all she has done to build community and thanked the City of Fullerton for the support they are currently providing. She also spoke about the city’s proposal, “This [plan] also honors the intent of the State grant of $5 million for the restoration of the Hunt Library. However, I am aware that the direction to the Hunt Library Ad Hoc Committee did not include the purview of the City’s 2.4 acres of City parkland. It is currently used as the Dog Park.”

“I want to share data that the Parks and Recreation Commission, Council, and community should be aware of. In the City’s General Plan, the standard for local neighborhood parkland is 4 acres per 1,000 population. Given Fullerton’s southwest quadrant (west of Euclid, south of Malvern ) with its population of approximately 50,000 residents, this quadrant has 47.56 acres of neighborhood City-owned parkland. (This includes Independence Park.) Given the adopted standard, this area should have more acres of parkland. While we will never make up that deficiency, we should not treat the 2.4 acres adjacent to the Hunt Library grounds as expendable for non-park use, given the adopted standard as it relates to the currently available neighborhood parkland in Fullerton’s southwest quadrant,” McClanahan said, “I was made aware that a concept use plan for the 2.4-acre parcel was drawn up in our Engineering Department. In addition, Arts/OC suggested a community garden. So, looking at the partners we have to date, we have a solid base to start.”

Jan Flory said, “I supported the city proposal for a couple of reasons. Daisy Perez presented the city proposal. According to Ms. Perez, the capital improvements to the Hunt Library will be completed sometime in November. There is a real concern that the building, with all of its improvements, might be vandalized if left vacant after its completion. The structure was significantly vandalized last year.”

“Neither the KCS or the Olive proposals would be able to conclude negotiations and take possession of the property (let alone begin substantive programming) by the end of the year. The city proposal was characterized as a two-year bridge proposal. That allows sufficient time to determine whether the city has the funds and resources to run the library as a library and community hub. In addition, the city proposal does not call for the construction of any ancillary buildings on the site; thus, no long-term lease is required to finance the proposed construction. Many community members found this to be a fatal flaw in the KCS and Olive proposals,” Flory said

City Proposal presented to the Hunt ad-hoc committee

City of Fullerton staff has revised its operations proposal to align various potential partners, programming, and grant funding opportunities to reflect a more cost-effective alternative to bring the Hunt back into service for the community. The proposal seeks to achieve the following goals through partners with various groups which the Hunt Library Ad-Hoc committee has previously identified:

  • A Creative Community Space
  • A Welcoming Space for The Public A Site Which Encourages Curiosity
  • A Site that Serves as a Hub for Activities, Programs, Events, and Classes.
  • The site should also facilitate greater literacy throughout the broader community.

Furthermore, City staff will work to incorporate collaboration and flexible and adaptive site use, which aligns with the ad-hoc committee and its original intentions. The New Proposal Includes consideration of library programming, partnerships for culture and art, and total cost contributions.

The following is a Summary of our New Proposal and Categories:

1. Full-Time Library Base Operation & Costs
2. Arts & Culture Programming Operations & Costs
3. Private Event Use Rental Space Considerations
4. Review of Total Net Cost Considerations & Summary
Certain costs will be required regardless of the Hunt site use, which is recurring as follows:

STAFFING HUNT LIBRARY SERVICES: These costs are the bulk of the annual operations and could potentially be broken down as follows:

• 1 Senior Librarian
• 1 Library Technician
• 2 Part-Time Library Pages
The costs are for the fully burdened rates, including PERS and fringe benefits, annually. Therefore, the Library Department identified these revised positions as required to operate the site as a baseline library.
ADDITIONAL LIBRARY SERVICE NEEDS:  In addition to staffing, the following services are needed :
• Information Technology Internal Service Costs
• Computers & Laptops
• Initial Programming
• Initial Collection Development
• Small Equipment (Furniture, Shelving, Central Station)
The net cost of a full-time Library operating at a baseline level with 2 Full-time Staff and 2 Part-Time staff totals $239,057.00
(This assumes $65,800 in Fullerton Public Library Foundation donations.) This can also sustain limited Library programming, which uses existing Library resources as a crossover, such as: Library of Things, Preschool Storytime, Baby & Toddler Stay & Play, Tween Book Club, author events, and specific after-school programs.
By working with various community groups such as the Muckenthaler Cultural Center and Others, the Hunt can facilitate community and cultural growth.
Examples of Recreation Class Offerings Could Include:
  • Fitness Class/Zumba Offerings Tai Chi Classes
  • Poetry Nights
  • Art Classes/Shows
  • Bingo
  • Morning Yoga


The Muckenthaler could partner with the City to provide a specialized weekly concert series for the community, bringing people together to celebrate and enjoy live music at the Hunt.


The staff has revised programming costs for Arts and Culture and determined there is an opportunity to achieve full cost recovery for Year-1 Programming. By utilizing grant funding from the California State Legislature, our Arts and Culture programming costs can be recovered fully based on the following breakdown:


The Hunt Branch can also be an important private event venue for our community and the surrounding region. The Parks and Recreation Department would lead this effort as part of the goal of having a regular and actively used site. To operate an event space, the City would utilize staff as follows:

  • 1 Full-Time Events Specialist (Parks & Recreation)
  • 6 Part-Time Event Coverage Employees (Parks & Recreation)

In addition to staffing, some limited computer equipment needs would be required to fulfill this portion of the operation.


The goal of this operation would be to achieve a high level of cost-recovery for the staff time associated with setting up the rental space and coordinating different uses based on whichever partner would like to rent the space.

Staff anticipates that event rental space would achieve over 90% cost recovery on event operational costs from renting the space out. The net price for the rental space annually would be anticipated to be in the range of $13,000 of costs which the rental revenue would not capture.

Review & Financial Summary

Several of the costs included in this proposal are already offset by various sources, including:

The Library’s existing budget (Flex Staff)
The Fullerton Public Library Foundation Donations CA State Legislature Grants For Arts & Culture Special partnerships, and one-time funds The Net Additional Funding Needed is $151,978.04 to operate the Hunt Branch into the next year and fulfill operating the site as proposed.

Funding this will produce a creative community space, a welcoming space for the public, a site that encourages curiosity, a place that serves as a hub for activities, programs, events, and classes and facilitates greater literacy throughout the broader community.