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Local library operational funding proposition included in May 20 election

— On Tuesday, May 20, Cazenovia Central School District residents will go to the polls to either approve or reject the district’s proposed $26.5 million budget, as well as to select two of the three candidates running for seats on the school board. While these are the marquis items that will be on the ballot, there will also be included a lesser-known proposition – although not less important to many community members – that approves or rejects nearly $550,000 in operational funding for both the Cazenovia Public Library and the New Woodstock Free Library.

“We are so, so fortunate for the support we receive from the community,” said Cazenovia Public Library Director Betsy Kennedy. “We always appreciate the community support and we hope it continues this year when everyone votes on the library proposition.”

The $379,582 for Cazenovia Public Library funding on the May 20 ballot all goes towards the library’s operating budget, which includes salaries, books, heating and air conditioning, lighting, supplies, insurance and similar expenses, Kennedy said. The library’s community programs, archives and museum expenses are nearly all paid through fundraisers and donations raised by The Friends of the Cazenovia Public Library, she said.

“So the budget it pretty lean,” Kennedy said. “This [elected funding] pays the bills.”

The $379,582 in the ballot proposition this year is an increase of 2 percent from the $372,140 in funding approved by Cazenovia voters in 2013. The increase was made to keep up with inflation and rising expenses, Kennedy said.

The New Woodstock Free Library Funding on the May 20 ballot is $158,774, also a slight increase from the $155,660 approved by voters in 2013.

“This year is the Woodstock Free Library’s 75th anniversary. We appreciate the community support we have received for three quarters of a century,” said New Woodstock Free Library Director Norm Parry. “The library has modernized and added services to keep pace with the march of technology and people's need for information in every form. We are blessed with the participation and dedication of volunteers. They have sustained us in our mission to provide service to all our neighbors. We invite everyone to visit their library this diamond anniversary year. It's always time to visit your library and this year especially since there will be ongoing events featuring the library's history and place in the growth of New Woodstock.”

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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