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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 6, 2010

Library proposes $1M budget

By Saranac Hale Spencer

NEW SCOTLAND — The fiscal year ahead will focus on plans for a new library building, said Voorheesville Public Library director, Gail Sacco.

The library is proposing a $1,029,700 budget, which is about $40,000 more than the current year’s budget.  Almost half of the increase is due to the rising cost of retirement and health-care benefits, Sacco said.

The budget also allows for an additional $5,000 for materials — the library hasn’t increased that budget line for years, and the cost of books, DVDs, and compact discs have gone up, she said.

The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value in the library district, which follows the boundaries of Voorheesville’s school district, is expected to go up 4 cents in New Scotland, to $1.15; up 6 cents in Guilderland, to $1.37; and up 8 cents in Berne, to $2.01.

Residents will vote on the budget on May 18.  One candidate will be on the ballot for the only library board seat up for election — Rita Stein will be seeking re-election.

“The board has been going through planning,” Sacco said of its work for the new building.  “We’re trying to be economical in the size,” she said.

One of the reasons that the board chose to construct a new building instead of adding on to the current one, built in 1988, is because the materials and structure of the building aren’t conducive to additions, she said.

In 2006, after getting approval from voters, the library bought five-and-a-half acres of land behind its current building on School Road to allow for expansion.

The new building will be constructed to allow for expansion, Sacco said.

The last calendar year, 2009, saw record circulation for the library, she said, since it loaned 124,812 items, compared to 121,886 the previous year.

“Our use is up,” Sacco said, adding that patrons see the library as a resource not only for reading material, but for technology and employment resources, too.

“This year, the board really wants to focus on seeing what they can do with the building,” she concluded.

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