The Bayport-Blue Point Library Board of Trustees 2011-'12 proposed budget will enable the library to continue offering the services the community relies on during the current challenging economic times in a fiscally responsible manner, officials said.
A copy of the Bayport-Blue Point Library’s proposed budget brochure is available in the library, or click here. The budget vote takes place Wednesday, April 6, 1 p.m.-9 p.m.
Like most libraries across New York State, Bayport-Blue Point has experienced increased usage in recent years. While cuts in state aid [the state may settle at a six percent decrease or more for libraries for 2011-'12, according to B-BP's library director], lower interest rates, and increased competition for grants have impacted finances, the library’s budget prioritizes affordability and restraint while simultaneously reflecting its commitment to provide the highest level of service to library patrons.
, who replaced retiring director John O'Hare in January 2011, added that the plan is for the library to amp up their programs and services with the proposed budget.
"With the climate in Albany we realize that the tax burden is overwhelming for the average homeowner," Firestone said. "We think it's (the budget) is going to provide for us to put money into more services, and we've increased the lines for books, materials, videos and programs. All the things that are directed to the public, those budget lines all were increased.
The library's 2011-'12 spending plan features budget lines that were not included in prior years, such as $13,000 for building repairs. With an overall increase of $39,000 from the previous year, the proposed budget totals to $2,164,226.98.
Islip residents will pay an increase of approximately $11 for the year, with residents of Brookhaven paying $11.58 this budget year. In either town, the library portion of local property tax bills is approximately four percent of the total bill.
Improving overall aesthetics of the facility is a goal for this budget year, noted Firestone. Library staff are considering having the exterior of the library painted, along with carpet replacement and bathroom remodeling.
"We have to see what the costs are, we have to start putting some money into the building," Firestone said. The director also spoke to the recent . "Now that the roof is done, we can start to improve the walls, carpets and lighting."
Firestone is meeting with painters soon to get an idea of the overall cost for painting the exterior, as well as seeking cost estimates for the other aforementioned proposed repairs.
In addition to the vote on the proposed operating budget, there will be an election for the position on the Library Board of Trustees presently held by Diane Handy. The position has a five-year term of office that expires on June 30, 2016.
Long-time Blue Point resident MaryEllen Adams is running for the Board of Trustees position. Adams works as a caseworker at Little Flower Children and Family Services. She previously served as a mental health counselor at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital. Adams holds a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus and a Bachelor of Science in Community Health and Human Services from Saint Joseph’s College.