The Smithtown Special Library District unanimously adopted the 2013 budget, with an increase of 2.75 percent over last year’s budget, at a special meeting held Friday afternoon.
According to library treasurer, Joanne T. Grove, the raise, though exceeds the state mandated two percent property tax cap, is allowed.
“There is a carry over from the past two years and a certain growth factor that you can apply to the formula, which is determined by the New York State Comptroller’s staff," said Grove.
If residents approve the budget, they can expect to see, on average, about an $8.34 increase per household. Currently the average household pays $291.25 annually in library taxes. That number, if the budget is passed, will increase to $299.59.
Mounting retirement costs as well as the cost of adding new materials and collections were reasons cited for the increase.
Library Director, Robert Lusak, said that now that the expansion is complete, the libraries need to add materials.
“We plan on beefing up our collections and programming,” said Lusak. “2.75 percent equates to a very small number with the increase of services we will do over the next few years.”
The board also agreed to borrow about $300,000 from the fund balance to help fray retirement costs. According to numbers stated at the meeting, there was $3.1 million in the 2011 fund balance.
There was but according to Lusak it would be “soon”.
The complete budget was not available at the Friday special meeting and was not available at the time this story was published.
The budget vote and trustee election takes place on Oct. 9 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Voters will cast ballots to fill positons of Trustee Charles A. Sauer and John C. Martins, whose terms expire this year.
The library will be hosting a Meet the Candidates Night on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Smithtown main library.