Richards Library vice President Paul Gilchrist and Librarian Sarah Farrar pose with the elevator recently installed in the library's addition, which is yet to be completed.
Photo by Thom Randall.
continued Already, $600,000 has been spent on the expansion project, and completing the work is estimated to cost another $600,000, to provide needed furniture, computers and information technology equipment, carpeting, lighting and other interior details.
Library trustees envision the facility to provide an upscale, welcoming ambiance, with a reading lounge, a 10-station public computer center, and more accessible book stacks and storage as well as the community room.
Facing a budget crisis, the library trustees have proposed for the library to obtain public support. The trustees have proposed, as provided for in state law, to establish a $98,100 tax levy on the residents of the Warrensburg School District, which mirrors their service area. A vote on the levy is now set for May 15, when the annual Warrensburg school budget goes up for a vote. The proposition will be listed on the same ballot as the school budget, although it is a separate matter.
Although the library tax levy would, if approved, be listed as a separate charge on the school tax bill, it is not a part of the school taxes. It is an independent levy allowed by state law, particularly for private libraries like Richards Library that serve the public.
Library officials have estimated that this levy would cost 19 cents per thousand of assessed valuation on property tax bills.
The Warrensburg Central School District, with about 6,000 residents, includes Warrensburg, Thurman, and small portions of bordering towns including Lake George, Bolton, Stony Creek and Chester.
The tax levy represents $4.48 per capita — just a fraction of the public support that libraries in nearby communities now receive, according to library Vice President Paul Gilchrist.