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2011 Adopted Budget

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The 2011 Budget adopted by the Library Board on December 16, 2010 allows the Library to continue to offer open hours and services for our patrons at all locations in the face of an extremely challenging budget and fiscal environment.

Click here to view the 2011 Adopted Budget (PDF)

Erie County’s budget process, completed on Tuesday December 14, 2010, resulted in county support (Library Tax and Interfund Subsidy) being reduced $4.75 million (21%) from the 2010 adopted budget amounts. The Library Tax Levy is reduced 18%, from 2010's $22,171,833 to $18,171,833, a level below that received by the Library in 1993. Combining this loss with reductions in state aid, increasing costs and a shortfall carried over from a 2008 restoration that was not continued in successive year budgets, results in a total recurring budget shortfall nearing $7 million. Restructuring library services to this lower funding level would result in major curtailment in access to public library service, with reduced open hours system-wide and the loss of over 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. Libraries in 17 communities would not meet New York State minimum standards for weekly open hours.

However, at the time the Library Board adopted its 2011 budget, the County was considering a proposal supported by the County Executive to provide $3 million in one-time funding to allow the library, in 2011, to retain most of the open hours that would have otherwise been eliminated, preserving an estimated 65-70 FTE positions. This proposal, announced on December 12, 2010, was adopted by a 15-0 vote of the Erie County Legislature on December 23, 2010.

While not a permanent solution, this funding would allow all communities to meet or exceed New York State minimum standards for minimum weekly open hours in 2011.

Maintaining access to public libraries is particularly needed by residents facing the challenges of coping with a struggling local and national economy who have increasingly turned to their public libraries for assistance, resulting in large increases in projected 2010 library use: visits rising 12%, circulation rising 12%, and public access computer use rising 92% across the System vs. 2007 pre-recessionary levels.

Final confirmation and allocation of the $3 million one-time funding is still pending; therefore, two options were presented for Library Board consideration and budget adoption. The Board voted to adopt Option A which is described below and in the attached "Proposed Weekly Open Hours" chart.

OPTION A – Assume $18.17 million Library Property Tax plus $3 million Supplement in Adopted Budget (Adopted)

  • Effective January 1, 2011 adopt 2011 Restored Open Hours proposed – (per attached chart)
  • Central Library/Grosvenor Room – Central Library: 59 (64 including Sundays) Grosvenor Room: 50 (55 including Sundays)
  • Layoff effective February 2, 2011
  • If $3 million supplement is not confirmed:
    • Service Hours reduced to Reduction Scenario presented at October 2010 Board of Trustees meeting
    • Additional Layoffs effective March 2, 2011
  • Determine use of fund balance for system services/Central Library

A summary schedule of recommended budget balancing changes by account is presented as part of Resolution 2010-40.

Click here to view the 2011 Adopted Budget (PDF)