Friday, February 12, 2010
FinCom, library reach the same page
The Finance Committee (FinCom) continued its FY11 budget hearings on February 8 with the return of Gleason Public Library Director Angela Mollet, accompanied by library trustees Priscilla Stevens and Larissa Shyjan. The previous week’s budget hearing featured a dustup between the two groups, not seen since Marian the Librarian took command in River City. This time around it was a Valentine’s Day love fest.
The prospect that the library could be decertified because of a guideline budget cut of almost 4% has now been resolved. The state’s Municipal Appropriation Requirement (MAR) demands that the library receive the average of the preceding three years’ budgets with an increase of 2.5% in order not to be decertified, or if cut, show that the cut was not disproportionate to other town departments. The library calculates the MAR to be $502,705 in order to meet their FY11 requirements. FinCom originally asked them to live with $479,610 to meet their levy limit guidelines, which the library insists is disproportional.
Mollet introduced an additional budget estimate of $506,852 representing “level service.” A noteworthy portion of this higher amount is a step increase of $12,000, raising wages from $318,800 to $330,800. Mollet clarified some of the smaller budget items such as collections and custodian hours, but the shock and awe of the guideline budget no longer prevails. FinCom now clearly understands and appreciates the demands of the library although no final decisions can be made until all boards and departments have submitted their budgets. ∆
© 2010 The