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Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library proposes 2010 budget

The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library Board of Trustees has proposed a 2010 budget of $3,834,931 that is a 1 percent increase over this year's.

If adopted, residents of Halfmoon would see their library tax increase 1 percent, and Clifton Park residents would see it decrease by 1 percent. The difference has to do with state assessment equalization rates.

In 2009, a home in Clifton Park with an assessed value of $100,000 paid $103 in taxes, while the same home in Halfmoon paid just under $100.

According to library officials, the larger budget largely reflects mandated increases in health care and retirement benefits along with a cost of living increase for staff. Programming would be largely unaffected, said Board of Trustees Vice President Clifford Bueno.

We feel that the growth in the attendance at programs and the growth of all metricsfrom borrowing books and materials to children's programs to just general use of the library"has grown tremendously since the library has open, and we wanted to maintain that to the community," he said.

In a release, Board of Trustees President David Golden said that the "slight" budget increase is a responsible proposal to put before taxpayers.

"This budget reflects a significant effort on the part of our staff and board to respond to the difficult economic environment," he said. "The impact on taxpayers is negligible."

The library's newest location at 475 Moe Road in Clifton Park opened its doors in December of 2006. The $15 million building not only offers much more space than previous locations, but also was built with energy saving features and using recycled materials. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Program recognized the building last year.

The library now serves 41,000 cardholders split between the two towns, and averages 300 new members each month. In June, monthly circulation was 65,374, the second highest ever recorded and a 13 percent increase from that time last year.

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