Small hike is sought by library

Cutchogue-New Suffolk Library trustees are asking taxpayers to boost their support for library programs in 2011 by a bit more than the cost of a couple of lattes from Starbucks.

The trustees have proposed a budget that’s $25,517 higher than the amount being spent in the current fiscal year. That represents “a modest” spending increase of 1.86 percent, library director Neely McCahey said.

An average Cutchogue homeowner with a $5,000 property assessment would pay $352.29 in taxes to support the library next year, up by $6.25. A New Suffolk property owner with the same assessment would pay $352.33 or $8.40 more than he’s paying this year.

Voting on the proposed increase in taxpayer support takes place at the library Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2-8 p.m.

Cutchogue taxpayers will be asked to approve a $1,199,315 appropriation for the library, while New Suffolk residents will be asked to vote on a $166,491.83 appropriation.

A budget increase for personnel of $18,517, from $ $946,072 to $964,589, will cover employer insurance costs, employee benefits and small income supplements. Ms. McCahey said. Technology and equipment costs are up by $10,000 from $41,810 to $51,810 but building operation costs would go down by $3,000 from $85,100 to $82,100.

Other than taxpayer support, revenue for the library in 2011 would come from New York State aid, interest from operating accounts, copier and fax fees, fines and $11,000 from the library’s fund balance.

“Our preparation of the 2011 proposed operating budget … was strictly guided by the economic conditions facing our taxpayers and by our commitment to maintain services, hours, staffing, resources and materials for all of our patrons at the level they have come to expect,” Ms. McCahey said.

During the past year, there have been continual increases in the use of the library’s computer and the WiFi connection. Program attendance is up and so is overall traffic in the building, according to the library director.

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