Library budget time is here
ISLIP TOWN—The annual public library budget vote will be held on Tuesday, April 2 at each district’s library building. Elections for trustee will be held as well and this year it appears there is no contest.
The polls will be open at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Public Library from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The library is located at 1 S. Main Street in Brightwaters.
Michael Squillante, library director, said that the total budget is at $4,029,379 and that the increase is only .99 percent. “That’s well under the [state] tax cap,” he remarked.
For an average assessed home, the increase will be $4 per year.
“We are putting more money into programming,” Squillante noted. “That’s something we always get a great response to.” He added that the library would be offering more downloadable material and museum passes in the coming year. “We’ll keep doing what’s successful,” Squillante said.
There are two board seats up this year. Incumbent Dr. Richard P. Harmond is running unopposed for another five-year term. Diane Hartill is running for a two-year term. Both candidates are unopposed.
The total budget that will be voted on is $4,225,000. That number represents a 1.56 percent increase with a tax increase that is less than 1 percent. For the average assessed home, taxes will increase by $3.22 a year.
“We know people are struggling this year, so we tried to keep [the increase] as low as possible,” said library director Guy Edwards.
There are two board positions on the ballot this year. The first is Deborah Smith, who is running unopposed to finish the remaining one-year, three-month term of former trustee Joe Montouri, who moved out of the area. Smith is currently the principal of JFK Elementary School in the district.
Joseph Gabriel, an architect and former president of the East Islip Community Chamber of Commerce, is running for a seat that had long been occupied by retiring Stanley Sidowski. Gabriel is also running unopposed.
The East Islip polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the library, 381 E. Main Street, East Islip.
The Islip Library budget is $3,938,476, which is an increase of 2 percent, just under the cap. On a house assessed at $40,000, there will be an increase of $8.96 a year.
Mary Schubart, library director, noted that aside from salaries, the bulk of the money goes to programming, online services and outreach. “More money is being devoted to e-resources such as downloaded books,” said Schubart.
Two incumbent trustees are running for five-year terms unopposed: Lois Overton and Madeline Hanewickel.
The polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the library, 71 Monell Avenue, Islip.
The polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the West Islip Library, 3 Higbie Lane, West Islip. Incumbent Simonne Harkavy is running for another five-year term unopposed.
This year’s budget is $4,003,135, a 2.16 percent increase and includes the annual debt service on the Library Improvement Bond of $504,775. The increase remains below the calculated tax cap for the library by the NYS comptroller. On an averaged assessed house, the tax increase will be $9.41 a year.
“The library board realizes that any tax increase is a concern to taxpayers, no matter how modest,” said library director Andrew Hamm. “But it is their hope that the community members will balance that concern with an appreciation of the value they receive for themselves and their families from a vibrant and robust library.”
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