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Ossining Library Releases Proposed Budget Increase

OSSINING, N.Y. – Two more hours for two more dollars.

That’s the message Ossining Public Library officials are trying to get out to residents on the library board of trustees’ new proposed budget. The board recently unanimously agreed to a budget proposal increase to $3,651,479, up from the previous budget of $3,622,016. While the board estimated roughly $100,000 in revenue to minimize the tax levy for the previous budget, Library Director Jim Farrell said this year the board is budgeting $50,000.

Because of extenuating circumstances related to retirement costs, the board is allowed a tax levy increase higher than the 2 percent cap. Farrell said the board is proposing a 2.26 percent increase, which translates to an average per capita cost increase of $2.32.

Farrell said the proposed budget, which goes to a vote to residents in the Ossining Union Free School District area May 15, would allow the library to open for an additional two hours on Saturdays.

“So what we’re saying is it’s about two more dollars for two more hours,” Farrell said, adding that he was thankful the proposal increased the hours after the board elected to slash 14 hours last year. “It was devastating for us last year to cut those hours. And we know it was devastating to the community. Increased hours is something a lot of people have asked for and this budget proposal gives them that.”

Farrell said the board is also proposing budget cuts using a new health care provider and cuts throughout the library, including slashing the $10,000 program budget in half.

“We’re letting residents know that we’re tightening the belt but our revenues are decreasing as well,” Farrell said. “The cuts are very tough and we’re still juggling the possibility of making additional cuts in the future.”

The Ossining Public Library serves 34,230 residents in the Ossining Union Free School District in the town and village of Ossining , Briarcliff Manor and Yorktown . Farrell later said while residents in Briarcliff Manor and Yorktown are still double-taxed for libraries and will see differences, the average per capita annual cost would be $105.21, up from $102.89 this year.

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