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Nanuet Library Board Passes Budget Under Cap

The board is not going to override the tax cap. The budget increased by $55,400, but is $867 under the tax cap. Budget papers are attached to this article as PDFs

 

Last week, the Board of Trustees met to discuss their proposed budget 2012-13. However, the meeting ended with the board having to find $46,733 worth of items to cut from the budget or override the tax cap.

"(They) did a great job on getting us below this tax cap," said Paul Corriel, president.

A special board meeting was scheduled for last night on Thursday to finish discussing the budget and pass it. The board ended up passing the budget, which increased by $55,400, but is $867 under the tax cap, so the board will not be overriding the tax cap.

"Gretchen (Bell, the library director) and I spend the week reviewing things and we were able to work out a lot closer budget," said Joe Modafferi, the library's accountant. "It's going to be a lot of work in the coming years with the budget and to look at controlling services. This library is personnel driven. There are only two choices: to override the cap or cut services."

Like the , the library is also facing difficult decisions because of the tax cap. Read more about the tax cap in this . The final tax cap varies depending on certain variables. For example, the Nanuet School's tax levy cap this year is .64 percent. For the Nanuet library, it's 2.346 percent

Here are the final reductions and increases in the budget and how it changed from last week's proposed 2012-13 budget, if any. Last week's proposed budget can be found in this . 

Reductions in the Budget

  • Books decreased by $30,000, which is an additional $5,000 reduction from last week's proposed budget. 
  • Personnel Benefits decreased by $7,900 , which is an additional $5,500 reduction from last week's proposed budget.
  • Equipment decreased by $10,000, which in last week's proposed budget, had no decrease.
  • Publicity (the newsletter) decreased by $2,485. The library prints four newsletters a year as well as a children's and young adult program flier that's sent home in the summer. They also mail home the budget. "Instead for one (newsletter for each season, we'll cut out either summer or winter and expand one of the other ones," said Library Director Gretchen Bell.
  • Programming decreased by $3,000.
  • Internet Provider decreased by $5,500. "Everything's been running smoothly .. the fiber optic line isn't really being used (so) we dropped it," said Bell.
  • Library Addition Study decreased by $20,000
  • Security decreased by $3,500

Increases in the Budget

  • Electronic reference & e-books increased by $15,000, which is $10,000 less than what was proposed last week. This money was taken out of the "Books" line to create this "Electronic reference & e-books" line in the budget. "This cut is databases we purchased ourselves that people are not using," said Bell.
  • Personnel increased by $23,000, which is $17,000 less than what was proposed last week. This is possible due to changes in personnel. Two librarians picked up evening hours, which allowed the library to cut a part-time librarian that worked those two evenings. "The staff's been really great with all of this," said Bell.
  • Utilities increased by $9,000
  • Rent & Repair & Maintenance of building and equipment increased by $18,000
  • Building Construction Contingencies increased by $20,000
  • RCLS Service Fee increased by $2,100, which is a required fee the library cannot control.

The public budget hearing is on May 1. The board also has a and those interested in the position should contact Library Director Gretchen Bell at 623-4381 ext 116.

Self Check Out?

The board also discussed other matters such as a possible addition of a self-check-out system to cut personnel costs.

"(In this budget), we reduced the part-time clerical hours, but those are the people at the circulation desk so it's hard to do that," said Bell. "The self check out relieves clerical hours but (how cost effective it is) depends on whether or not the community will use it." 

"If you took off a person from the desk and added self check out, people will use it," said Board Vice President Mary Noberini. Board Member Arthur added that people will simply get used to it.

"Like Lowes or Home Depot ... and supermarkets ... if you don't want to wait, you go to the self check out," said Modafferi.

"We should find out the economic feasibility of that first," said Corriel.

Bell added that she will look into the cost of self check out machines.

Newsletters

Another topic of discussion were the newsletters, which is a large cost in the budget, for example, is it the printing or the distribution that is more costly? 

Winoker suggested that if it is distribution, then the library may want to consider printing the newsletters and making them available at the library instead of mailing them home.

The Nanuet Library mails out 8,000 newsletters. New City Library dropped their newsletter mailing last year. 

"More and more people are becoming more comfortable with technology," said Corriel. "Can we guide our patrons more to the internet site?"

Bell added that the library is working on collecting emails from patrons that use the programs to start emailing those people newsletters and information about how to use the website and find the programs.

Budget papers are attached to this article as PDFs

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