Your library – Your choice
- Since 1988 the library received $350,000 in taxpayer support each year.
- In 2017 the City of Jamestown cut library support to just $100,000 and in 2018 funding was cut to $50,000, but your taxes did not go down.
- The proposed 2020 budget included $60,000 in taxpayer support for the library. In November 2019, after learning of $150,000 in savings in the city budget, City Council voted to increase tax support for the library to $100,000, while reducing overall tax income to the city by $110,000.
- As a result of city funding cuts, the library’s annual State Aid of $111,000 will be cut and can only be restored when local community tax support is restored to $350,000.
- Let’s put the decision of where your taxes go back in the community’s hands – rather than leaving it up to the city. We are seeking to return to the tax rate prior to the city cuts in 2017. This would require approval via a public 259 vote.
- If the 259 vote is passed, a home assessed at $50,000 would pay $11.50 PER YEAR!
- Anyone who is registered to vote and lives in the Jamestown Public School District is eligible to vote on library funding. You do NOT have to be a homeowner to vote on this issue.
- This amount will stay the same every year and cannot be increased without another vote from the community. The community would vote on any increase the library may propose, just as they do for any increase in the school budget.
- The library serves over 400 visitors every day and offers a wide variety of free services, despite receiving the least taxpayer support among ALL libraries in the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System.
- The New York State Library has requested a 3-year compliance plan from the Prendergast Library’s Board of Directors, regarding their commitment to obtain sustainable funding. New York State requires the library to pursue community tax support via a public vote.
What has the library done to reduce costs?
The library has significantly reduced staffing:
Additional Cost Saving Measures:
- We decreased our service points from three to one and all staff are now cross trained.
- All equipment is now purchased via grant funding.
- The library purchases new materials using grant funding.
- Grant funding covers the costs of the library’s Makerspace.
- We conducted an energy audit to look for ways to reduce our utility bill:
- All light fixtures in the building have been changed to LED tubes.
- Motion sensors have been placed in all public bathrooms so lights aren’t on when the rooms are not in use.
- Staff do not routinely turn on all lights in the building – they are used as needed.
- The library’s database budget was $32,306 in 2012; we now budget $2,000 for the most used database and take advantage of New York State Library’s online databases which are linked to the library’s website.