Art Jay, President of the Board of Trustees has announced the proposed 2012-2013 budget for the Library which residents will be asked to vote on, on Tuesday, May 15. Polls will be open from 7am-9pm in the Ossining High School gym, 29 South Highland Avenue in Ossining.
“Carefully considered reductions have helped us meet requirements of the state of New York two-percent tax cap provisions and address the concerns of local tax-payers,” Jay explained.
The defeat of the 2011-2012 budget forced the Library to eliminate fourteen service hours per week, from 70 hours down to 56. State regulations require the Library to be open a minimum of 55 hours per week. In addition, many Library staff had their weekly hours reduced. The new proposed budget reflects a 2.26% increase that will reinstate two of the lost hours, and add back several hours of part-time help. The increase is made up of the 2% tax cap along with a .26% increase which is allowed because of the mandated increased cost in the state retirement system. This translates to a per capita increase of $2.32 per year.
If the budget is not passed, OPL will be forced to consider additional staff layoffs, make deeper cuts on purchases of new books, DVDs and other materials, and further reduce hours of service. “This poses a particularly distressing scenario,” Jay said. “Because of the state regulation on hours, we stand the very real chance of having our registration suspended if we fall below 55 hours. This action could lead to the closing of the Library.”
A copy of the proposed 2012-2013 budget is available online.
For additional information about the proposed 2012-2013 budget contact Jim Farrell, Director of theOssining Public Library, at (914) 941-2416, ext. 333.