Proposed Budget for 2020

The 2020 operating budget of the library includes a 6.2% increase to the library tax levy, which is estimated to add $4.00 to the average residential property tax in the city. Increased staffing costs, increases to the price of books and other materials and the cost of maintaining library facilities are all driving the need for the library to request this level of increase from residents and businesses in our district. The Board of Trustees and I are aware of the fact that the burden of local property taxes falls primarily on residents, but are also mindful of the fact that library service is an important part of the fabric of our community.

The Troy Public Library actively pursues grant opportunities to help with the costs of providing quality library service. This year we finished up a project at our Lansingburgh Branch with a state Public Library Construction grant of $210,000 to replace and/or restore all the windows in the building as well as replace all three entrance/exit doors and rebuild and improve access to the basement.

We anticipate beginning work on the Main Library this coming year with a $208,000 Public Library Construction grant from the New York State Education Department and also with a State and Municipal Facilities Program grant of $125,000, which we received thanks to the help of State Legislature Assembly Member John McDonald. Along with a number of program-related grants this year, the library received a grant from the McCarthy Charities which will allow us to purchase additional equipment including hot spots to help close the digital divide and provide internet access to our community.

Salaries at the Troy Pubic Library still fall behind area and state libraries of comparable size, resulting in significant and sustained turnover at our library. The salary and employee benefit line has been increased by 3.7%, which accounts for implementation of a revised salary schedule, as well as increases in the cost of health insurance, for which the library pays 50% of the employee’s premium. By retaining staff, the library can concentrate more on providing quality service to the community and spend less time on searching for and training new staff members.
We ask that you support this 2020 budget proposal in the upcoming library election.