In response to the repeated funding reductions by the city of Ogdensburg and the stated intent to eliminate funding in the 2022 budget, the Ogdensburg Public Library’s Board of Trustees has approved a funding referendum.
This measure shifts the collection of library financial support from the city of Ogdensburg to the Ogdensburg Central School District. Collected taxpayer funds are transferred to the library.
This referendum, a request for $225,000, is in addition to previously approved funding.
The total funding will result in $350,000 for the library to operate and plan for the future.
As a library patron, friend and trustee, I ask you to please become informed on the purpose of this referendum.
This is not a request for more money; it is an amount similar to one requested of the Ogdensburg City Council through its budget.
With the council’s intention to eliminate our municipal library funding in the city budget, we must ask for our funding by referendum.
Estimates of a taxpayer’s financial share — about $58 on a $65,000 property assessment — have been published.
Again, this is not more than you would pay to the city to finance the library.
But with the referendum, you will know exactly where your tax payment is going.
An approved referendum measure will allow the Ogdensburg Public Library to operate 40 hours a week; employ an executive director, a children’s librarian and six part-time staff members; provide public access to the building for browsing and computer use; match already committed building grant funds; make a construction (roof) loan payment to the city; continue curbside service; continue curbside crafts; comply with required pandemic directives; maintain affiliated library memberships; maintain copier and printer services; and develop additional funding sources.
Our library is an active part of our community. In 2019, pre-COVID restrictions, there were 45,384 visits to the library.
There were 6,496 computer sessions at the library and 18,957 wireless users.
At least 40 different community groups made use of the library meeting space.
Our library brought $81,000 in capital project grant monies to the community.
If you are not registered to vote, please consider registering at stlawco.org/Departments/BoardofElections/HowToVote/HowToRegister.
For any additional information or questions, please contact Library Director Penny Kerfien at 315-393-4325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your attention and support.
Ann E. Lesperance
The writer is vice president of the Ogdensburg Public Library Board of Trustees.