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John Jermain Seeks To Pierce Tax Levy Cap Slightly with $2.3 Million Budget

Voting takes place Tuesday at the library's temporary headquarters.

The John Jermain Memorial Library renovation project, as seen on June 7 Credit: Courtesy of Catherine Creedon
The John Jermain Memorial Library renovation project, as seen on June 7 Credit: Courtesy of Catherine Creedon
Voters in the Sag Harbor School District can cast ballots on Tuesday in the annual library budget vote and trustees election.

The board of the John Jermain Memorial Library is asking voters to approve an approximately $2.3 million budget, a 2.8 percent increase, though it will pierce the state-mandated 2 percent tax levy cap.

"The tax cap is set at 1.66 percent this year, although with allowable carryovers from last year, and exemptions, we are exceeding the tax cap by less than one percent — the state has just today released the necessary figures for me to fill out our forms to determine the exact number," Creedon said.

About $1.3 million of the total budget is for the general use and maintenance of the library for the upcoming year, while the other $905,000 is for debt service approved by public vote in June 2009 for the restoration and expansion of the library, a project that is currently underway.

"The increase is going to health insurance costs, utilities, and an increase in spending on books, especially children's and teen books, to keep up with increased demand," Creedon said.

The increase in the operating budget will result in a total increase to the taxpayers of $60,450, or about $5 per year for the average homeowner, according to printed material from the library.

Increases are attributed to the cost of books and materials, higher health insurance and unemployment insurance, the increased cost of utilities, expanded programming for families and seniors, new digital resources, climate controlled storage for rare local materials and artifacts.

Voters also have to elect three trustees to the library board, though the election is uncontested. each of whom will serve a three-year term starting on Jan. 1, 2014.

Linley Whelan, who has served one term, is running for reelection. Alison Bond, who is a publisher, editor, and former member of the Sag Harbor Historical Society board, and Nick Gazzolo, who has a background in business and serves on the board of Save Sag Harbor, are running for the two other seats on the board. "They are both active users of John Jermain, and we are looking forward to the contributions they will bring to the board," Creedon said.

Bond and Gazzolo will fill the seats of Carl Peterson and Carol Williams, both of whom are finishing their second three-year term at the end of December, have reached their term limits. "They have been wonderful stewards of the library and its mission," Creedon said.

Those registered can vote at the temporary library headquarters on West Water Street in Sag Harbor Village on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Lady L September 24, 2013 at 08:51 AM
Isn't it time we started living within our means, cut the waste and stop increasing our taxes??? Surely there must be some place you can cut unnecessary spending and give homeowners a break from the ever increasing burden of onerous taxation. Let's vote OUT any incumbent that even suggests increasing taxes.

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