To the Adirondack Journal:
Thanks to the Adirondack Journal for publishing a fine article about Richards Library in its April 14 issue. I’d like to elaborate a little further:
Averaged over the entire service area, the proposed levy for the library would mean an annual payment of $18 for a property assessed at $100,000. (The amount would vary a bit among the several towns in the service area due to their different equalization rates.) If the $100,000 property were home to a family of three, that would be $6 per capita per year. For a family of six, it would be $3 per capita.
Since the payment is based on the value of the property, not the number of people living there, a larger family would pay less per capita than a smaller family, given equal property value.
Every other library in Warren County receives more than triple the public funding level of Richards Library — they average five times the level — and only three of the 53 libraries in the four-county Southern Adirondack Library System receive as low a level. The levy will result in the entire service area contributing to support the library’s operations, not just the town of Warrensburg, which comprises only two-thirds of the population served.
Richards Library provided service for more than 100 years at no cost to the public, but now it must ask for help in order to survive. Public funding for its operating budget will enable the library to use its diminishing general fund balance to complete the new addition at no further cost to the public. This will mean more services, programs, computers and high-tech devices, exhibition space, comfortable seating, community meeting room, and handicapped access.
The levy request will be Proposition #3 on the May 15 school ballot, even though the library has no affiliation with the school.
Richards Library Trustee