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The Port Washington Public Library's proposed 2001-2002 budget amounts to $4,942,086, up $229,847 from the current year's budget of $4,712,239. As they did last year, the library officials applied $100,000 of the fund balance to keep the tax increase as low as possible. The increase in the tax levy is 4.96 percent. This represents a jump of .11 cents from last year's tax rate of $3.48, to $3.59, per $100 of assessed valuation. (Note: this is not the market value of the home.)

Explaining the tax increase, Library Director Nancy Curtin advised that an increase of $230,435 in the area of staff salaries includes consideration of the fact that a number of variables might arise as a result of contract negotiations, which are currently under way with the staff association. In addition, the increase includes the salaries of hourly and part-time employees who were released during the construction period and vacancies to be filled in the Children's, Media and Community Relations Departments.

Also increased $35,000 was the book budget. Ms. Curtin explains it is a modest increase to bring this code back to expenditure levels that existed prior to the library's temporary relocation and to allow for collection expansion into the additional shelf space that the renovation has provided.

For the same reason, the media collections' code has been increased. This amount, approximately $13,000, will include the purchase of new DVD collections and Books-on-CD under AV materials.

An increase of $8,800 in the computer supply code will accommodate the needs of the new Computer Center, according to Ms. Curtin. She adds that in order to stabilize expenditures in this area, the library plans to put a vend-card system in place for the purchase of paper when patrons wish to print information.

Ms. Curtin also advised about those areas in the budget where the library is either holding the line or able to decrease the annual expenditures. These areas included the following: serials, book binding, postage and freight, printing, staff conference and training, Nassau Library System fees, memberships, maintenance of office equipment, fuel and utilities, custodial supplies, equipment and other operating expenditures.

For future budgets, Ms. Curtin reported that the library's insurance consultant advised them to expect a 20 percent to 25 percent increase in this code, after Nov. 2001 when the three-year fixed insurance premium contract that the library negotiated ends.

Commenting in general, Ms. Curtin said, "It is the job of the library administration and board of trustees to ensure that the budget-making process is accomplished in a fiscally responsible manner. We believe we have succeeded in presenting a realistic, balanced budget for the 2001-2002 fiscal year.

The library budget vote and trustee election will take place on Tuesday, April 10, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Landmark on Main Street. Two incumbent trustees, Lee Aitken and Andrea Watson, are running unopposed. Voters may use the limited number of visitor spaces in the Landmark's parking lot. Anyone may vote who are at least 18 years old, a U.S. Citizen, and a resident of the Port Washington School District for at least 30 days prior to the vote. No prior registration is required.


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