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Proposed Library Budget Increases 1.23 Percent

The tax levy for property owners will rise by 1.3 percent to raise $64,000 more.

 

The New City Library Board of Trustees approved a proposed budget of $5,089,075 for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2013 and ending June 30, 2014.  The proposed budget is 1.23 percent higher than the current spending plan of $5,027,350.  It would increase the tax levy paid by property owners by 1.3 percent.

The budget vote along with the election for three trustee seats on the board will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

At Thursday night's meeting, Board Personnel & Finance Committee Chair Jeffrey Greenberg said they worked to limit the increase.  The amount raised by taxes would rise from $4,925,000 to $4,989,025.

“We’re asking taxpayers for a very modest tax increase,” he said.

Greenberg explained the library had seen a cost savings from the unfilled executive director and business manager positions because salaries and benefits did not have to be paid. He said the money in the library’s renovation fund would be used possibly in the coming year for updating the audio-video section, repairing the roof and fixing the parking lot. 

Trustee Anthony Feliciano asked if there was a way to avoid increasing taxes completely. Trustee Tom Ninan followed that up, asking if the amount could be decreased because of the $25,000 grant awarded by the state. Greenberg and Trustee Terri Thal said the state grant should not be considered part of the budget until the money is actually received.

Ninan asked, “This year why can’t we have a zero percent (increase)?”

He said because there was $250,000 in a Smith Barney account, it was “unthinkable” for him to vote to increase the tax levy.  Interim Library Director Marianne Silver explained some of that money was earmarked for such as $125,000 for updating the audio-visual area and possible expense of $100,000 to repave the upper and lower parking lots.

The budget line items which showed the greatest increases were retirement benefits by 15.08 percent, Worker’s Compensation by 8.3 percent and membership dues by 27.77 percent. The line items with the most significant decreases were grants by 16.67 percent, periodicals by 20.75 percent and museum passes by 22.22 percent.

The motion for the proposed budget passed by a four to two vote.

In his Building & Grounds Committee report to the board, Feliciano said they would look at getting bids to repair the two levels of the parking lot separately.

“We took out a walk out to the parking lot; there are some dangerous potholes,” he said.

Feliciano said in the lower section there is a movable steel plate over a large hole.

John Q Taxpayer September 21, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Oops, Mr. Tom Ninan did it again to ensure the tax levy for this coming year should be at 0% but Greenberg wants it at 1.3%. Even when Tom Ninan pointed out they have a surplus of over $300,000 from last year's budget and even more from the current budget...and let's not forget the $25,000 from State Senator Carlucci's office as a grant. Tom Ninan, we the taxpayers salute you for working hard for us to keep free-money-spending liberals out of the library budget process!!!
Christine Ma September 21, 2012 at 06:50 PM
It would be fine, but Mr. Ninan doesn't have a clue about budgeting, capital funds and matching funds for grants. He is just grand standing.
ann September 21, 2012 at 08:00 PM
It is time that Mr Ninan stands up for us and more than that he seems to know more about the budget and recent improvements to the library. Oh, by the way, Tom Ninan is the only one who was able to negotiate the matching funds to a reduced amount. Is the issue that Tom Ninan knows too much? Which is better for us because it shows that he does his homework. --Concerned Citizen
LeeLee Gordon September 21, 2012 at 08:33 PM
From what the reporter wrote, I can see Ms. Ma's point of view, but if she were fully informed of the budgeting process as the elected trustees are, she would see that Mr. Ninan's proposal is valid. He has been a trustee for 4 years and has had contributed majorly to improvements for our library, such as the new front desk to expedite check in/out of materials, the HVAC, replacement of the front desk, and the carpeting. Don't we want our youth to want to go to the library and be able to relax in a confortable atomosphere where they can study and strenghten their minds. Grandstanding???? Maybe if Ms' Ma would regualrly attend meetings, she would see that Mr. NInan has presently well researched and successful proposals to the Board. He has spearheaded the reduction of the funds we had to match in the past for the front desk and the AV department to be combined. Ms. Ma....Check the minutes, the are public record.
Christian Cortelli September 22, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Unfortunately for the taxpayers of the New City Library District, I was prevented from voting on the proposed budget. I do acknowledge that it is expensive to maintain quality services and a professional staff, but I can't be persuaded to continue with the status quo of raising taxes every year. I can't promise that I will never vote for a tax increase, but I will promise not to treat the taxpayer as an endless source of revenue. -New City Library Trustee Christian Cortelli CJCortelli@Yahoo.com
RJ September 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM
There really is no basis for an increase this year no matter how small. When everyone has their hand out for a piece of the pie you are left hungry. Patronage of the physical building is down because so many people have given up books, CD's & DVD's in favor of digital content which can be borrowed or purchased without ever setting foot inside the library.
GWashington September 22, 2012 at 02:42 PM
There is no such thing as a "modest tax increase." It is an increase in taxes, period. The entire system is a tax burden we are no longer able to bear. Holding the vote within the confines of the facility that will receive the money is politicing.
C Gardener September 23, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Grandstanding 101: Ninan's puppet Poulouse approves the budget after the hero of the taxpayer decries the increase. see nclibrarywatch.org hey, do me a large, hon, wouldya?. I've been knocking myself out going thru the minutes and can't find any of ninan's "accomplishments". if you could get us those dates, that'd be great. thanx And if any Patch readers out there can explain how its possible to negotiate lower matching funds with NYS, it would be much appreciated.
C Gardener September 23, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Anyone else out there see the irony in Officer Cortelli's last statement? http://seethroughny.net/payrolls/towns/ Perhaps if the librarians were armed, they wouldn't be such an easy target.

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