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It’s been a century since Emma Timmerman sent this post card of the new Fort Plain Free Library building to an ailing friend. Throughout the years, the library has evolved with the times, and today provides residents with books, technology and a full roster of programs. The residents of Fort Plain and town of Minden will be asked on may May 20 to support the library by voting "yes" to an annual $25,000 tax increase.


Fort Plain Free Library seeks $25,000 in annual public funding

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 - Updated: 9:43 AM

FORT PLAIN -- On May 20, village of Fort Plain and town of Minden voters will be asked to approve a $25,000 annual tax increase for the Fort Plain Free Library. If voters approve the request, through a proposition listed on the school district ballot, the funding will help support the library's operational budget, covering escalating costs such as maintenance and electricity. 

The funding will also allow the library, which is currently taking in less money than it's annually spending, to maintain book services, staffing and extensive programming.

Annually, the library dips into its already small fund balance to cover operational costs, and the funding proposition will help the library to keep from depleting those funds entirely. 

Currently, local taxpayers provide the Fort Plain Free Library with $50,000 in annual funding.

A home with a fair market value of $50,000 currently pays a library tax of $11.38.  With the increase, the library tax on a $50,000 home would be $17.07 for an increase of $5.69 per year.

A home with a fair market value of $100,000 currently pays a library tax of $22.76.  With the increase, the library tax on a $100,000 home would be $34.13 for an increase of $11.37 per year.

In 1885 Martha A. Bortle, Preceptress of the Clinton Liberal Institute teamed up with area residents to start the Fort Plain Free Library. After several years in various locations, the library found a home on the corner of Willett and River streets. 

Books, periodicals, magazines and newspapers were the information highway of the day and just as today, the library was the only source of information for many people.

Over the years, a collection of books has evolved to include modern sources of material; DVD, computer, and the MVLS rotating collection, for instance.

Offerings also include artistic and cultural programs, Story Hour, Summer Reading Program, Science in the Summer and computer classes.

All of these programs are free to the public.

Call at (518) 993-4646 or visit the library's website at for more information.


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