The Ossining Public Library will hold a revote on its 2010-2011 budget on June 29. The library’s more than $3.8 million budget was defeated on May 18. Read the library’s release below for more information:
The Board of Trustees of the Ossining Public Library (OPL) has decided to hold another vote on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2010-2011 on Tuesday, June 29 from 7 AM to 9 PM. Voting will take place on the lower level of the library building.
The vote, which is open to registered residents of the Ossining School District, will be on the same proposed budget, totaling $3,822,016, turned down on May 18 by 127 votes. Residents who are not registered for general elections may register at the library for this vote. Absentee ballots will be available at the library beginning on June 15.
“We’re confident that the residents of this community will support their local library and pass this budget,” said Peter Capek, President of the Library’s Board. “At the last vote, we took a survey and received hundreds of responses that showed a majority of the voters in the school district highly value the library. With this in mind, the Board decided to re-introduce on the ballot a budget that is responsible and which will support the facilities and level of services this community wants and deserves.”
The tax levy being requested in the OPL 2010-2011 budget is $3,522,016. To offset the budget total, the Board decided to transfer $250,000 from the OPL’s reserves, and use $50,000 of planned income from fines and various library services. The tax levy, moving forward from last year’s budget, represents a 1.91% increase ($66,078) and will cost residents an additional $2.00 in taxes per capita.
The Ossining Public Library is among the busiest libraries in Westchester County. More than half of the population in the Ossining School District are library card holders (19,126 card holders out of 33,064 residents), and nearly 10,000 patrons used their card at the library within the last six months. Between July 2009 and March 2010 227,917 people visited the library, with about 20,000 people attending over 800 OPL programs offered to the public, free of charge, in that same period of time.
“This budget will allow the library to continue to operate with no curtailment in hours or services, which is what our survey—and usage data—tells us the public really wants,” said Capek. “Our costs in several areas, including salary, health care and retirement costs, as well as electricity are rising substantially in the coming year. We’ve managed to keep our tax levy increase small. This is a great library, and we have a hard-working, dedicated staff. They deserve the proper financial resources that will allow them to continue to serve the public as well as they do right now.”