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Colton-Pierrepont district asks voters for more library funding

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COLTON — When voters from the Colton-Pierrepont Central School District head to the polls Tuesday to vote on board members and the district’s budget, they will also be asked to support a referendum to increase library funding by $5,000.

The Hepburn Library of Colton’s director, Dennis E. Eickhoff, said the $5,000 hike will bring the amount received through taxes to $20,000.

“The library has not asked for an increase since 2007,” he said.

Mr. Eickhoff said the library receives some funding from the town, but to maintain the services it provides, the money collected through the proposition completes its budget.

“The town’s share makes up for about 73 percent,” he said. “The rest of it comes from outside sources like the state, county and school budget proposition.”

Mr. Eickhoff said the board has asked for more money partially because of concerns associated with the county’s own fiscal problems.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the county not funding outside agencies anymore,” he said. “They haven’t yet, but that discussion usually starts around August or September when they’re working on their budget.”

Rising costs of library materials and benefits also contributed to the decision.

Mr. Eickhoff said he’s thankful for the support the library has received from voters in the past and he’s hopeful for a similar outcome Tuesday.

“Every time that we’ve put it up, it has passed,” he said.

The library has served patrons from both Colton and Pierrepont for more than 100 years.

“The library provides free Internet for its patrons, books, magazines, books on CD and DVDs for borrowing. Downloadable e-books are available through our library system, as well as inter-library loan, which reached out to our 65-member library system,” Mr. Eickhoff said.

According to estimates based on current-year assessments, the owner of a home valued at $50,000 will see a jump of 54 cents.

The polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. in the school’s auditorium lobby.

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