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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,
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Voters reject Canajoharie Library funding, approve Fort Plain Library support

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - Updated: 9:49 AM

By JOSHUA THOMAS

C-S-E Editor

Voters rejected a proposal to provide the Canajoharie Library with $100,000 in annual tax based funding, with 356 voting "yes" and 595 voting against the proposition.

In Fort Plain, a proposition to increase the Fort Plain Library's tax levy from $50,000 to $75,000 in annual funding was successful, with 186 voting "yes" and 101 voting "no".

A proposal to provide the Canajoharie Library with $100,000 in annual, community based funding was also rejected by voters in 2012. Currently, the Canajoharie Library only receives $950 in public funding, with most of its operating budget provided through an endowment, donations, fundraisers and benefactors.

Canajoharie Library Director Leah LaFera was disappointed with the results of the vote, but appreciative of those who have continued to support the library. "I'd like to thank you for coming out and voting," she said, issuing words of encouragement.

"Do not get discouraged. We're going to keep trying this every year and hopefully every year we'll change a few minds and educate a few more people."

LaFera said that what this means for the 2015 budget is that "well have to end up cutting more." She explained that the library may have to close an additional day of the week.

She said, "at this point, we've cut the book budget as much as possible and we've tapped every resource. We're going to have to get creative about where we're cutting."

"There's going to have to be some cuts just to keep the doors open."

LaFera said the board of trustees will review the library's endowment, investments and contributions when the 2015 budget process begins this fall.

She also noted that for people who are looking for ways to help the library, there are numerous means of support listed at canajoharielibrary.org/donate, which range from volunteering, to becoming a member, to donating old cars.

LaFera concluded, "We need funding, and if people are feeling generous and supportive, now is a great time to step up and show the library some support."

Fort Plain Library Director Whitney Hubbard used numerous adjectives to describe her elation at the passing of the library's funding proposition, including "ecstatic", "incredibly appreciative", and "thankful".

Hubbard said she was initially nervous about the potential outcome, especially because "people were hit really hard by the flood, and I thought that would play into this."

To hear that the proposition was approved was a "massive sigh of relief", Hubbard said.

To library supporters, Hubbard stated, "Thank you so much for your continuing support, in all the ways you support us. Since I started, the community and patrons have been really wonderful, and this is just one more way in which they have shown their support for the library. It makes me feel awesome about working where I do."

Hubbard said that moving forward, she hopes the community will continue to provide the library with feedback about what programs and materials they'd like to see offered. "We're continuing to evolve, and we welcome any input. We'd love for people to share what they'd like to see offered by the library."

"I really want to hear what we can do for them," Hubbard said of library patrons.

     

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