Two North Fork library budget votes scheduled for Tuesday

09/10/2011 6:02 AM |

Two North Fork library districts will put their budgets for next year to a vote next Tuesday.

Floyd Memorial Library, which serves Greenport, East Marion and Orient, is proposing a tax hike for the first time in three years.

Using money from its fund balance, the library board held the line in 2010 and 2011.

“We cannot continue to draw down our fund balance at this rate,” library director Lisa Richland said. But the proposed $821,449 budget does apply $20,671 from the fund balance to minimize the tax increase, she said.

If the budget passes, taxes would increase by 1.6 percent with a proposed tax rate of $30.59 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, up from $29.14.

Greenport taxpayers would contribute $484,850 while those in East Marion and Orient would contribute $414,884. The balance comes from grants, fines and fees, contributions, interest and dividends and miscellaneous sources.

Ms. Richland and assistant library director Poppy Johnson have taken a pay freeze and other library staff members are receiving raises not to exceed 2 percent. Costs of fuel, health insurance and materials costs are increasing beyond the rate of inflation, Ms. Richland said.

During tropical storm Irene, Floyd Memorial had power and served people from Orient to Southold who were using library computers, plugging in their own laptops and recharging their cell phones.

“I was so thrilled to be able to offer that service,” Ms. Richland said.

Voting takes place at the library Tuesday between 2 and 8 p.m.

Cutchogue-New Suffolk Library is proposing a $1.45 million budget, with spending up 3.85 percent and takes up by 2.8 percent, said director Neely McCahey. Cutchogue residents’ share of the budget would rise from $1.19 million to $1.23 million. New Suffolk residents will vote on an increase from $166,491 to $171,152.

If the budget passes, a Cutchogue resident whose property is assessed at $5,000 would see an $11.34 increase in taxes, paying $363.63 in 2012, up from $352.29. A New Suffolk resident whose property is assessed at $5,000 would similarly see an $11.20 hike in taxes.

“The composition of the 2012 proposed operating budget was firmly guided by the economic climate facing our taxpayers and by our commitment to maintain the services, resources, materials, hours and staffing at a level our patrons have come to expect,” Ms. McCahey said.

To offset the tax hike, the library board voted to incorporate $31,000 for the fund balance in the 2012 spending plan.

Voting takes place at the library Tuesday, between 2 and 8 p.m.

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