Elma Library Board member Jay W. Ricketts appealed to the Elma Town Board during its Wednesday work session to help the library stay open seven more hours a week instead of the projected 28 hours outlined in the proposed Buffalo & Erie County Public Library budget for 2006.
Ricketts said a minimum of 35 hours is mandated to maintain the library's charter status in New York. He said the trustees have no idea whether the county library system will appeal to the state for a waiver on the hours.
Before the county budget crisis, the Elma Library was going to request funds for new carpeting, painting and a new water supply for a total of $50,500, Ricketts said, but now it will forgo asking the town to pay for these repairs.
Instead, Ricketts said, the library trustees would like the town to consider a budget line of $57,608 for 2006, which could enable the library to retain one full-time position and restore part-time hours at the same pay levels of 2005 with only the mandated contractual cost-of-living increases for the balance of the staff.
The allocation that will be given to the Elma Library for 2006 is estimated to be $159,737 and makes no provision for any full-time staff. For the library to stay open 35 hours, the Town of Elma would need to come up with the $57,608. If no funds are restored by the county or the town, the library would need to close two days a week, remaining open just 3 1/2 days with shorter hours.
In other business, Marlene Baumgartner and Kenneth Schaff, co-chairmen of the sesquicentennial celebration, asked the board to consider approving the following 2007 dates:
March 7, Town Board meeting at the Hurd House, site of the first Town Board meeting in Elma in the 1800s.
July 22, a kickoff picnic at the Village Green park on Bowen Road.
July 25, a concert at the Green with a beard-growing contest.
July 26, Elma's new history book signing by town officials. The book, costing $30, will be a 276-page companion to previous books on Elma history and will reflect the years 1857 to 2007.
July 27, home decorations contest.
July 28, huge parade in the evening.
A $25,000 state grant is being sought for the event by Assemblywoman Sandra Lee Wirth, R-Elma.
The board also discussed applying for a $25,000 state grant to computerize records of the town water system, including when the pipes were laid and what kind there are. An aerial view would be taken of the town, with an overlay of the pipes.