Saugerties Library budget and trustee vote to be held Thursday, Sept. 5

The Saugerties Public Library’s annual budget and trustee vote will take place on Thursday, Sept. 5, in the library’s community room, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. The total proposed 2020 budget comes in at $675,358, $617,796 of which will come from town taxpayers and the rest of which will be raised via library operations, New York State Library Aid, an appropriated fund balance and donations.

The total tax levy increase in the proposed budget is 6.49 percent, or $.0092 per $1,000 of assessed property value; according to library officials, a property with an assessed value of $200,000 would see an increase of $1.85 in 2020, from $63 to $64.85.

For the second time since 2012, library officials said, the state-mandated tax cap has been exceeded in a proposed budget; the library board previously adopted with a supermajority a resolution to override the cap. Unlike school districts which put up budgets exceeding the tax cap, library districts which do so do not need a supermajority at the polls.

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According to library officials, the fund balance that’s drawn from to prevent tax levies from exceeding the cap is almost entirely depleted. Library officials also cited the purchase of adjacent properties and investment in capital improvements as factors in its decision.

Two five-year terms currently held by Brian Collins and Myrna Sameth are up for election; Collins is running to maintain his seat on the library board, while Sydnie Grosberg, Jouette Bassler and Theresa Pabon are newcomers vying for positions.

 

There is one comment

  1. Brian Collins

    Dear Neighbors,

    On Thursday Sept 5th you have an opportunity to vote on our Saugerties Library budget and select two of your library board trustees. Personally, my term on the board, for which I hope to be re-elected, has been a very rewarding experience.

    During my tenure, it was my privilege to be part of various projects and initiatives, most notably our recent Division Street construction project, for which it was particularly gratifying to personally save and repurpose the valuable ancient blue stone in our new green space. Additionally, in coordination with and funded by The Friends of the Library, we assembled and set “Little Free Libraries” in various location around our town to encourage and enable readers to share books amongst themselves.

    It would by my honor to continue as a member of the hard-working finance committee, which by the way produced the current budget. Working to increase the yields on our reserve funds has been a recent initiative of mine which is of upmost importance. It is one I find most compelling in light of the recent back to back tax increases required to keep our library performing at the level you would expect.

    Serving on the policy committee was also rewarding as the members of that committee are always striving to preserve the premier service you have come to expect from the library. Our decisions should be guided by what is optimal for you, our community, and implemented with the most efficient application of our available resources.

    Hopefully you will allow me to continue to work with the various committee members, something I find very rewarding in itself. Humbly, I ask for your vote. Know that I appreciate your support, as it will enable me to continue to enjoy serving and participating in a direct fashion, the experience that is our Saugerties Public Library.

    Respectfully,

    Brian Collins

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