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Library seeks $26,627 funding boost

The Olean Public Library is seeking a $26,627 increase in appropriations for its 2008 budget.

Residents of the Olean School District will go to the polls May 1 to vote on the $932,291 spending plan. For 12 years, funding to the library has been provided by the school district through a tax levy, in addition to the taxes raised to support the schools.

If the increase is approved, City of Olean residents will see their tax rate grow to $20.37 per $1,000, for an increase of about 61 cents. The hike for Town of Olean residents will be about 3 cents per $1,000.

In addition to the tax levy, library programs are supported by grant funds. In 2006, the following grants came to the library: $18,900 from the New York State Council on the Arts; $36,808 from the Central Library Development Grant; $23,833 from the Central Book Aid Grant; $7,015 from the Federal and New York State Grants; and $3,379 from the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System. Also in 2006, the library got $9,060 in memorials and gifts and the Friends of the Library gave $13,375 from the Book Endowment for library material.

There were 126,120 visits to the library during the year, with 194,727 books, magazines, videos and other materials borrowed. Other statistics show 29 workshops and events, 14 literary events and eight gallery exhibits and 370 meetings.

Library Director Lance Chaffee said the budget took shape from the library's long-range plan, which was developed by the board of trustees through user input, staff ideas and community information.

"Defining goals, objectives and reviewing the yearly progress of our long-range plan has guided the Library Board in developing a yearly budget that meets the needs of the community," he said.

A public hearing on the proposal will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the library gallery. The budget can be obtained during library hours at the information desk.

Besides voting on the proposition, residents will elect trustees. Darcy Branch and Edward Wagner are seeking re-election to five-year terms. Lanna Waterman is running for the seat currently held by Robin Land, who has decided not to seek a second term on the seven-member board.

The polls, in the library, will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 1. All district residents who are registered to vote in general elections are eligible to vote. Absentee ballots also are available.

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