Proposed Port library budget calls for $7.5 million in spending

The Port Washington Public Library’s proposed 2017-18 budget calls for a $178,041 increase in spending for a total of $7,521,764.

The budget includes a 0.96 percent tax levy increase.

The proposed budget shows spending increases in salaries and employee benefits and building operations and cutbacks in library operations and equipment and repairs.

The budget calls for a $217,554 increase in the salaries, terminal leave and employee benefits section, with spending on salaries rising $180,542 and retired employee benefits jumping from $517,640 to $540,063.

The budget proposes that $5,404,185 will be spent on salaries, terminal leave and employee benefits.

The library required additional information technology employees, Nancy Curtin, the library director, said.

Port Washington residents will vote on the proposed budget and a library trustee seat on April 4.

Susan Miller is challenging incumbent Patricia Bridges for a five-year term on the board.

Bridges has served on the board for 10 years.

There was no movement in total spending on library materials, with the budget allocating $430,000, but spending on physical books was cut back while audio and electronic book spending increased.

This proposal to cut spending for physical books is the first since 2014, when spending on nonfiction books saw a $5,000 decrease.

Curtin said the library has seen an increase in electronic material, while the circulation of physical books have gone down.

“We’re adopting to what we see,” Curtin said. “There are still people who love to bring a book to the beach, but we’re still adopting to the younger generation.”

Curtin said the library recently cut back on its magazine and periodical subscriptions, opting to use an online database with hundreds of magazines included in one subscription.

Library operations spending is proposed to be cut around $10,000.

The proposed budget also calls for a $14,500 increase in equipment costs and a $25,000 increase in repairs and alterations for a total of $156,350 in spending in the equipment, repairs and transfers section.

Curtain said the equipment, repair and transfers proposed increases are due to the ongoing work on the Children’s Library.

The library at 1 Library Drive is holding a budget information session and meet the candidates night on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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Stephen Romano

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