Huntington area library budgets promise to keep costs low

Huntington area library budgets promise to keep costs low

The Northport Public Library. File photo from library

It’s budget season for libraries across Huntington Town, and they’re looking to keep costs low.

The Northport-East Northport Public Library has proposed an overall lower budget, but with a slight increase in the tax levy. The total budget is an approximate $160,000 decrease from last year’s; however, the board is proposing to collect $21,000 more in taxes than the year before.

Among the reasons for this is the fact that the library had $165,000 in unrestricted fund appropriation for last year’s budget, but not this year. Compared to revenues collected last year, the library expects to collect about $181,000 less.

The biggest costs for this year’s budget include employee salaries, health insurance, books and electronic resources.

Northport-East Northport 30-year-resident Margaret Hartough is running for re-election as library trustee. She is currently the head of the teen services department at the Half Hollow Hills Community Library.

“The Northport-East Northport Public Library has always been a special place for me and my family,” she said in a statement. “My children spent many hours at the library, and benefited from all the great resources and wonderful programs. I believe the library is truly the heart of the community and strong libraries build strong communities.”

Over at Huntington Public Library, the board of trustees has proposed a 0 percent increase for the budget; asking residents to approve the same approximate $8.8 million budget as last year.

The Harborfields Public Library. File photo
The Harborfields Public Library. File photo

Compared to the 2015-16 budget, building renovation costs are less than half of last year’s, with a difference of about $540,000. This contributes to the 0 percent overall increase. Costs are also going down by 80 percent for printing supplies and 100 percent for bibliographic utility, which is a service that provides record keeping.

Library trustee incumbent Charles Rosner is running unopposed for re-election. He first joined the board in 2011. Rosner received an MBA from Harvard Business School and before retiring in 2002 was a CEO at Gemcoware in Hauppauge.

Harborfields Public Library is following suit with Huntington and proposing a 0 percent increase for its 2016-17 budget, with a $4.8 million overall total. Most of the library’s costs mirror last year’s numbers, with the biggest difference in retirement and health insurance. Retirement costs decreased by $83,000, and health insurance costs increased by $50,000.

Centerport resident David Clemens is running for a seat in the Harborfields Public Library board of trustees. He previously served as a trustee for the Huntington Historical Society and the Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Association. Clemens is currently a trustee of the Suffolk County Historical Society and chairman of the library committee there.

Finishing out the Huntington area is Cold Spring Harbor Library, with a proposed budget of about $2 million and an overall 0 percent increase. By far the biggest item on the budget is salaries for employees, which comes in at just over $1 million.

According to the library’s website, highlights of the budget include supporting vital programs like free e-books and homework help.

Residents can cast their votes on Tuesday, April 5, at their respective libraries.