Lowville Free Library was founded in 1903 by local citizens. It has been maintained as a privately-owned institution, managed by a Board of Trustees made up of active interested local citizens, since its inception. Our building, erected in 1927, has undergone several upgrades in recent years, including replacement of half the slate roof, installation of LED lighting, interior painting, electrical upgrades, and carpeting. The future needs for the building will include window repairs/replacement, side door entrance upgrade and lift maintenance.
The library’s most immediate need is keeping ahead of the NYS-mandated minimum wage level and paying our long-term employees at a level commensurate with their experience. In addition, the recent installation of new fiber optic line for internet access requires a new monthly line charge for service. The value inherent to this internet access upgrade has been a significant increase in bandwidth and download/upload speeds.
The budget is dependent upon annual allotments from the County of Lewis, the Village of Lowville, the Townships of Lowville and Watson and the receipts from the LACS ballot request.
Although each of the above government entities are gradually returning to the levels once given in 2008, the costs of salaries, technology advancement, books, and supplies have risen faster. Each year the Board of Trustees is in the position of having to borrow from capital reserve funds to cover expenses. While the borrowed monies are replaced as soon as possible, no gain in savings and investments is being realized.
In order to promise a solvent, viable service to the public, it is the belief of the Lowville Free Library Board of Trustees that a more dependable financial base is required. The request for an increase from $70,000 to $80,000 on the 2019 LACS School ballot would help assure a more solid base.
The cost would be spread across the school district population. An estimate of cost for taxpayers would be approximately $0.02 per $1,000 assessed or $3.00 for property assessed at $150,000.
The Board of Trustees would then be in a better position to focus its staff and resources on outreach, technical advancement, and educational links within the community. Monies earned from fundraisers and state and local grants could then be used solely to enhance programs directly affecting the lives of its patrons.