Slideshow for the Visual Oriented (coming soon)
Q. The library looks so big! How come?
The new/renovated library looks much bigger than it is. The original library was 4500 sq. ft, but that included the second floor and basement. We can no longer use that space legally and so the new library is built all on one level, totaling roughly 9000 sq ft, so it is over 1000 sq ft. LESS than our current location at the Old Grand Union (Maggiacomo Lane).
Q. Speaking of the Old Grand Union, why don’t you just stay there?
The library owns the original structure on Main St that we are rebuilding, but it would have to pay over $50,000 a year in rent if it stayed in the current Old Grand Union location (Maggiacomo Lane). Using tax dollars to pay rent on a structure you don’t own is Never good business sense. And then the old library would have to be demolished, leaving one more empty space on our beloved Main St. Not to mention that if the library were to stay where we are now, we would have to invest significant funding on infrastructure. And what about when the lease would be up and rent would increase?
Q. How did you pay for that new building?
The cost of the new/renovated library is $3 Million Dollars. No Tax Dollars were spent or raised on its construction. 1/3 of the cost came from the insurance policy the library had in place at the time of the fire. 1/3 came from grants and 1/3 came from generous donations from local businesses and individuals.
Q. How did you decide what goes in the new library?
The library conducted a serious of focus groups before the fire with different community members. It became apparent very quickly that what the residents of Pleasant Valley wanted was a community center. The library made that a priority when designing the new building. It has a dedicated Teen Room, a Tutor Room, a Conference Room for smaller group gatherings (such as the Lions, Rotary, Fiction Clubs etc) and a larger community room (for Senior Exercise, Brain Games, Movie Nights etc). We have heard the need for quiet as well, so we’ve turned the historic reading room into a quiet space. Technology going forward is a must, which is why the library also has a dedicated computer/WiFi center with faxing, copying, scanning and notarizing available. There’s so much more and it’s all on one floor, making sure the entire space is handicapped accessible and requires no extra staff.
Q. I heard the library is going to ask for a budget increase this November. How much are you asking for and why?
The library’s current budget is $440,000. We are asking the public to approve an increase to $495,000. The library has not had a budget increase since the fire of 2018 and the budget that was voted on at that time did not anticipate that a fire would happen and cause the library to move into a temporary location that was over double in size. In order to avoid having to ask for an increase immediately the library board used its fund balance to cover the difference between running a 4500 sq. ft library and a 10000 sq ft library. But since then minimum wage has gone up significantly, is poised to do so again, and the services the library offers in the new space have expanded.
Q. How much does that increase affect me?
We are asking for an increase of $6/per person, or $13.80 per household.
Q. I seem to remember the town charging double for the library last year, can’t you just use that?
No. Since it was the town’s mistake and not the library’s, NYS made the town set that money aside to bring down the cost of your general property taxes in 2022, not the library. The library did not see any of that money.
Q. Well what about all that money you raised for the building?
NYS has very strict rules about not mingling funding sources. NO local tax dollars can be used to finance capital campaigns and no donations that were earmarked for a building can be used to operate it. The board very diligently raised the money to build/restore the library without asking for a tax increase and now is asking the community to do its part in helping to run it by contributing an extra $6 per capita or $13.80 per household, the cost of 1 small coffee at Dunkin Donuts every 7 weeks.
Q. What if I want to know more about how the library operates and spends its money?
Wonderful! There is a tab on our website called About Us and there are documents there that include our policy manual, bylaws, budget, and library board minutes.
Q. This all sounds great, what can I do to help?!
Thank you so much for your support of the library and your community. Remember to get out and vote on Election Day this year, on Prop #7, which is library funding. Spread the word to friends and neighbors so that everyone knows how much the library means to the community. And stay tuned to come visit us in the fabulous new library as we plan to open later this winter.