Opinion: Library needs to lower costs, not ask for taxpayer money, Louisville councilman says
Friday, May 22, 2020 - 8:14 am

Residents of the Massena school district will soon have an imperative decision to make that will affect all taxpayers that reside within its boundaries. The Public Library would like to transition into a school district library. This change would make the library autonomous from local government oversight, thus creating a new taxing authority.

The budget of the library is currently $683,000, and they would like an initial increase to approximately $700,000. Upon ratification of the vote this new tax will be placed on your September school tax bill. This new tax would not be reduced by the current STAR exemption. I have been told this increase is needed to expand and grow the library to include a commercial kitchen, among other improvements.

The library certainly does offer several classes and services at their facility, several things are duplicated within a small radius and already paid for with local tax dollars. This duplication would require consolidation and a shared service agreement with a central location. The most economical solution that has not been explored.

Census numbers have been on the decline for the 15 years in the area due to industries closing and people relocating to find suitable employment to support their families. The local towns are adjusting their budgets to account for deficits in revenue that is relied upon to fund the budget. It is my belief that the library must follow the towns lead in reducing their overhead cost and adjust their spending to match their revenue. This is not a time to expand and grow, this is a time to conserve and consolidate your resources.

I will be voting no on proposition 1 on the school budget ballot.

Shawn Thompson

Louisville Town Councilman