Gloversville Public Library vote today

GLOVERSVILLE — Today voters will decide on the Gloversville Public Library’s 2018-19 budget that features a 7.6 percent tax levy increase over the current year.

The library’s proposed budget comes in at $619,926.44 and a proposed tax levy of $423,695 a $30,000 increase over the tax levy that was in place for both the 2016-17 budget and the 2017-18 budget.

The tax rate is projected to increase by 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value meaning the annual increase for a homeowner whose property is valued at $100,000 would be about $5. Final tax rates are set by the school district in August once final equalization rates are provided by the state.

On Monday, Library Director Barbara Madonna said the proposed tax levy increase is intended to offset the increases the library has been faced as the minimum wage has risen over the past five years.

Staff salaries, benefits and related expenses make up 76 percent of the library’s budget. Minimum wage will increase an additional 20 percent in the next three years from the current rate of $10.40 per hour to a final rate of $12.50 per hour in 2021 affecting the library’s part-time salaries.

The library will also be adding staff members under the proposed budget in order to receive a $500,000 state grant contribution for renovations that are currently under way at the library’s permanent location on East Fulton Street.

Madonna said the grant was awarded in 2015 by the state Regional Economic Development Councils partly for the purposes of job creation. In order to receive the grant the library must increase staffing by 140 hours per week by November 2018.

Madonna said that the library was already planning and working towards the staffing increases before drafting the proposed budget and the exact staffing configurations to reach the hourly increases have not been finalized. The increases work out to four additional full time equivalent employees.

Madonna added that the increased staffing will help the library meet the community’s needs, noting that most of the employees’ work is directed toward customer service including tech support, reference assistance, programs, outreach and circulation.

Madonna compared the annual tax levy increase to the cost of a hard cover book, saying the fees allow residents to borrow any book from the Gloversville library or another library through an inter-library loan throughout the year.

“There is no charge for library cards. We want to provide services to everybody in the community and surrounding area,” Madonna said. “I hope they come out and exercise their right to vote. I certainly hope that folks are visiting the library to use the programs and services, as well.”

Voters will also select candidates for three open seats on the board of trustees. Two candidates, Charles “Ren” Reed and Susan Shrader, are running. Seats are open for one 5-year term and two 1-year terms. The candidate with the most votes will receive the longest term.

Reed was appointed to the board to fill a vacancy on an unexpired term, both he and Shrader are seeking their first elections. Brian Mazza, whose term expires this year, is not seeking reelection.

Polls will be open at the Gloversville library’s temporary location at 34 W. Fulton St. today from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Additional information on the proposed budget and candidates for the board of trustees can be found at

By Kerry Minor

Leave a Reply