WATERTOWN — Flower Library officials want to get permission from city school district taxpayers to spend $75,000 next year for new materials.
Library officials are seeking support to put the $75,000 in appropriations on the ballot for next spring’s budget vote.
They made a presentation to City Council members on Monday night, saying that the city has decreased funding for materials from about $65,000 in 2009 to $13,000 in the current budget.
Carolyn D. Weldon, the president of the library’s Board of Trustees, said the library has not been able to keep up with the purchase of new books and other materials, blaming the decreases from the city.
“Sadly, what is a library without new books?” she said.
Less than 1 percent of the library budget of $1.5 million goes to new materials. Last year, the library conducted a survey with more than 400 respondents that found that people want more programs, books and longer hours, she said.
The funding request would then appear on subsequent school district budget votes.
A home owner with a $100,000 home would pay about $5 if taxpayers approved the measure.
It doesn’t take either approval by council members or the city’s Board of Education but just getting 25 signatures on a petition, Ms. Weldon said.
They already have enough signatures to get it on the ballot, she noted.
She and Library Director Yvonne Reff wanted to make sure that council members knew they were pursuing the petition.
“We’re a little ahead of the game, but we wanted a chance to take it to everybody,” she said.
Out of the 65 libraries in the North Country Library System, 54 get some funding through school district ballots, library officials said.
Council members said afterward they support the initiative. Three signed the petition.
“I certainly think this will be helpful here,” Councilwoman Lisa A. Ruggiero said.
Library officials will embark on a marketing program to let the public know about the issue.