A referendum to require the Town of New Paltz to set aside more money for Elting Memorial Library will be on the ballot this November 3. It reads: “Shall the annual contribution of the Town of New Paltz provided in its budget for the operating budget of the Elting Memorial Library, a free association library located in New Paltz, New York, be increased by $70,000.00 annually to the sum of $466,000.00 annually?”
The town’s existing contribution to the library budget was set by the passage of an earlier referendum, and put forward as a way to protect library funding from the politics of the town budget process by mandating it. Town Board members have suggested that a library district, which levies its own tax and presents a budget to the general public each year in much the same way that school districts do, might be a better path to follow, but that option has not been explored. The Cuomo administration has been pushing for consolidation of local governments, and creating new taxing entities is considered difficult at this time. A similar line of reasoning successfully kept a referendum to create an independent fire district off the ballot this year.