Floyd, Mattituck-Laurel library budgets pass Tuesday

MAttituck Laurel Floyd Memorial Library

Voters approved both Floyd Memorial Library’s $991,772 budget and Mattituck-Laurel Free Library’s $1.3 million spending plan by wide margins Tuesday.

Floyd Memorial Library director Lisa Richland said the 2014 budget, which carries a projected 5 percent tax rate increase, passed by a vote of 185 to 37. Broken down by school district, she said Greenport School District voters approved the budget 138 to 24 and voters in the Oysterponds School District approved the budget 47 to 13.

Mattituck-Laurel Free Library officials said the 2014 spending plan, which carries a 2.2 percent tax rate increase for 2014, passed by a vote of 99 to 16.

Over in Greenport, Ms. Richland has said the library’s board of directors decided to override the state-mandated allowable rate of 1.6 percent in order to create a budget that supports services and staff.

In addition to personnel expenses, she said the part-time teen librarian who replaced a full-time staffer last year will work full-time in 2014.

In Greenport, East Marion and Orient, the total tax increase for a homeowner with property assessed at $6,000 would be about $10 next year, Ms. Richland said.

Ms. Richland said library taxes remained flat from 2009 to 2011 and the average tax rate over the past six years has been 2.7 percent. The library has also applied fund balance to offset the tax rate during that time. Last year, the library transferred its remaining $7,518 reserves into the budget.

She said the approved 2014 spending plan reflects a 3.8 percent increase over the current budget and will support current programing and digital services, such as Zinio Digital Magazines, a service that allows patrons to read digital copies of their favorite magazines on their tablet, computer or mobile device.

Ms. Richland said although digital use has increased, the library is committed to funding printed materials for the district’s older population, which prefers traditional copies over new digital reading devices, and will continue loaning materials at the Orient Country Store.

Mattituck-Laurel Free Library director Kay Zegel has said the library was able to secure additional savings recently through refinancing its debt, which reduced the interest rate for the library’s 1999 capital bond project from 6 percent to 3.5 percent over the remaining five years of the loan.

In both Mattituck and Laurel, she said, the total tax increase for a homeowner with property assessed at $6,000 will be about $9.36 next year.

Ms. Zegel said the 2014 spending plan reflects a 2.1 percent increase over the current budget and will support new programing launched this year, including a digital scan center and technology that converts VHS tapes into DVDs. The library also plans to offer Zinio, one-on-one appointments with a technology specialist and continuing education classes.

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