Lowville Free Library and William H Bush Memorial Library (Martinsburg) will appear on the Lowville Academy and Central School District ballot for a budget referendum vote.
The proposed increase for the school district population approximates to a 4¢ increase per $1,000 assessed, or $6.20 for property assessed at $150,000. In total, this equals approximately 23¢ per $1,000 assessed annually.
In total, this raises a $20,000 increase to support Lowville Free Library, with an increase of $5,000 for Martinsburg. The increase on the ballot will be $25,000, for an annual total of $140,000 between the two libraries.
You can our letter to the community here, or read on for some FAQ.
Q: What is the library asking for with this referendum vote?
Lowville Free Library is asking our community for a funding increase of $20,000. This would make the total that Lowville Free Library receives $100,000 annually. We are cooperating with William H. Bush Memorial Library in Martinsburg, who is requesting a $5,000 increase for $40,000 annually (for information from William H. Bush Memorial Library in Martinsburg about their use of the referendum funds, please visit their website or contact them!).
Q: How does this impact the school budget?
The library request is a separate line on the school ballot and on the tax bill–it isn’t drawn from the school district budget. All money collected from this separate line goes directly to the library.
Q: How will the library funding be used?
The funding increase will impact the library in many ways, including continuing and building core services, like childhood literacy and school-aged programming, technology access and support, availability of community use spaces, and adult programming and community involvement.
Operating costs continue to rise, impacting the library. These include everything from utilities to staffing. Lowville Free Library relies on our talented staff to meet the needs of our community, from children’s programming to computer help–the proposed increase will help us keep pace with wage increases across NYS.
Q: Why now?
The library is mindful of its responsibility as a publicly-funded organization to make every dollar go as far as it can in service to our community. The proposed increase will enable the library to implement the programs and services outlined in our board-approved strategic plan, and to offer new technologies and services our community needs.
Q: Why a referendum instead of a loan or grant?
Placing a referendum on the school ballot is a sustainable way for the library to ensure we can provide high-quality service to our community. It allows the voters a direct voice in the funding process, and once approved, it’s funding the library can rely on year after year. We do rely on grants every year to cover many program costs, and fundraisers, which cover additional costs associated with our building.
Q: Are there alternative funding sources available to the library?
The library receives funding from a variety of sources, including the village, the town, the county, and the state. This funding is completely discretionary and is never guaranteed. We’re grateful for their continued support, but a ballot referendum is a sustainable funding increase that impacts how we can continue to offer library services to our community.
Q: When and where will the vote be held?
The school ballot vote will be held on May 17, 2022 at Lowville Academy and Central School.
Q: Who can vote?
Voters participating in the school ballot election must be at least 18 years of age and registered to vote either with the Board of Elections or the school. To find out more about voter eligibility, please contact Lowville Academy and Central School.