The passage of the budget resolution to change the funding mechanism for the Village Library of Cooperstown and the Kinney Memorial Public Library in Hartwick has guaranteed a stable funding source for the two libraries according to library officials.
“Up to now we have had to basically rely on the good graces of the village,” said David Kent, director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. “They have been wonderful but there has always been that slight anxiety that a recession or an unexpected expense on the village could threaten our budget. The fact that we know we have secure funding, along with it being spread more equitably throughout our service area, means we can plan more confidently for the future.”
The May budget resolution asked voters in the Cooperstown Central School District to approve the collection of $180,452 in property taxes annually by the school board to fund the two libraries. The village library will receive $115,452; Kinney will receive $65,000.
The change will cost taxpayers an additional $15 to $25 in property taxes per household. Supported by the boards of both libraries, the budget resolution passed 638 to 156.
“I was not surprised that it passed,” said Kim Jastremski, president of the Village Library of Cooperstown Board of Trustees. “I was however thrilled … by the amount by which the vote passed.”
Jastremski noted that the resolution passed by a greater amount than the school budget, and said that the vote was a validation of the work that the library does.
The levy will be collected for the first time along with this year’s school taxes. Jastremski said that, had it failed, the village library would have likely had to cut hours.
Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz said he was happy to see the resolution pass.
One of the impetuses for the budget resolution getting on the ballot according to its supporters was that 76 percent of the budget of the Cooperstown library came from the village, despite only 34 percent of the library’s users residing in the village. The other contributors to the library’s budget were the towns of Otsego and Middlefield and CCS.