Legal reviews of the town-village library contracts have shown that funding of this library must come separately from town residents outside the village and from village residents. This is the 6 0/4 0 percent agreement signed when the library was built and located in the village. Land for the library was appraised and paid for by the town/village on the agreed 6 0/4 0 formula.
Town funding for the Lewiston library currently comes from people who live outside the village through the town's share of sales tax revenue and a town tax as needed. The village library funding would come from the village share of sales tax revenue and a village tax as needed.
Mayor Richard Soluri mentioned that the village contributed a half-acre of land with a value of about $30,000 for the recent library expansion. He fails to mention that the town allocated $800,000 for this expansion, when technically the village should have contributed $320,000 toward this expansion per the 6 0/4 0 agreement.
The mayor also points out that grass cutting and sidewalk plowing for the library is done by the village. Road and parking lot plowing are done by the town, and this cooperation is good, but these are a tiny percent of library operation costs.
Both the town and village have needs for infrastructure improvements, but this is not reason to stop library funding.
Money from the Modern Landfill host community agreement is put into the whole town account which funds the portion of town expenses which by law must be paid by everyone in the town, including village residents. Thus village residents share 100 percent in the Modern revenue, even though the Modern contract is with the town only.
The village trustees strongly support the formation of a special library district. This is for the library trustees to decide, and the town will support their decision. If a special library district is approved, a special separate tax will be charged to both town and village residents. The net result would be about the same as if the town and village include the library as part of their respective yearly budgets. However, the voters will choose the library trustees rather than the town and village officials appointing them, and residents vote on the budget every year.
D. JAMES LANGLOIS
Lewiston Town Councilman