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The Port Washington Public Library's proposed 2000-01 budget is $4,712,239, up $356,782 from the current year's budget of $4,355,457. This represents an 8.2 percent increase. However, the actual increase percentage in the tax levy will only by 6.79 percent because the library applied $100,000 of fund balance to the budget in an effort to keep the tax increase as low as possible. Translated into actual dollars, the increase represents $18 per household for the average home in Port Washington, that with an assessed valuation of $10,000. (Note, assessed valuation is not the market value of the house.)

Explaining the increase, Library Director Nancy Curtin said that much of it is due to debt service which amounts to $552,431 for principal and interest payments on the $5,968,960 bond, approved by voters in October 1998.

Another large expense in next year's budget is the cost of temporarily relocating the library to Manorhaven Park during the library buildings renovation. This amount is $100,000.

Commenting on the proposed budget, library Director Nancy Curtin said, "I want to stress to the taxpayers of Port Washington that we are either decreasing or holding the line on most of our budget lines."

According to the information packet on the proposed budget put out by the library, other areas showing an increase in spending include:

Staff salaries: The three-year contract with the staff will end in June of this year. Negotiations are under way but have not been concluded. As a result, in formulating the proposed expenditure for salaries and benefits, a number of variables that might arise as a result of negotiations with the Staff Association have been considered.

Machine readable materials: This category has been increased by $15,500. It includes CD-ROMS, on-line databases and indexes (many of which include full text), phone and college directories.

Serials: Magazine and journal subscription prices continue to climb. Although the library periodically reviews and eliminates titles that are underutilized, this code had to be increased by $4,000 just to maintain the subscriptions the library currently has.

Staff training: Most of the library's professional staff attended library school long before the technologies they routinely work with today were developed. In order to bring these expanding technologies to the public, the staff must receive training in their most effective and efficient use. The board, recognizing the impact of technology on future service to the community, has allocated an additional $7,000 for staff training.

Equipment: The increase in equipment costs will provide additional computer stations. When the library reopens, 22 stations will be available for the public in the new Computer Center on the third floor.

Temporary relocation: This includes the costs to run the library at Manorhaven Park during construction and amounts to $100,000.

The board advises that because of the construction project and the inevitable disruptions to some of their services, they have held the line on most budget codes and reduced the lines for salaries, books, binding, audio-visual materials, postage, printing, Nassau Library System circulation fees, program services, memberships and maintenance of office equipment.

The annual budget vote and trustee election will be held on Tuesday, April 11 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Thomas Lapham Meeting Room. Anyone may vote who is at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and a resident of Port Washington School District for at least 30 days prior to the vote. No prior registration is required.

Two trustee positions are available this year. They are the seat of Jerry Morea and the seat left vacant last year when Fred Kramer resigned. Andrea Watson, who is currently filling that seat, and Mary Breen will be on the ballot for those two positions.


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