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.
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.