Board Approves 2021-22 Budget with No Increase
The Albany Public Library Board of Trustees has approved a 2021-2022 budget with no tax levy increase. The new budget starts July 1 and runs through June 30, 2022.
The 2021-2022 library operations budget is $7,153,022 — the same amount as the current spending plan. Because the budget does not raise the tax levy, the library is not required to put it out for a public vote. Approval by the library’s trustees, which was given unanimously at its March meeting, is all that is required for the 2021-2022 spending plan to become official.
“This last year has been trying for everyone. The library administration and board understand that folks are making do with less and living within their means. The library needs to do the same, so we made a conscious decision to keep the operations budget flat for the coming fiscal year,” said APL Executive Director Scott C. Jarzombek. “This is the third consecutive year with no increase in the library budget, but we are certain that this spending plan will allow us to meet the changing needs of our community as we start to come out of the pandemic.”
Jarzombek went on to explain, “This was a difficult budget to put together without knowing how long the pandemic will last and facing the possibility of additional temporary closures, both of which impact revenue and expenditures. We were able to keep the budget static for two reasons. We allocated $355,000 from the reserve fund, which we’ve built up for uncertain economic times like these, to offset lower income projections. And, we made precision cuts to most spending lines to lower costs. The result is a spending plan that will not increase taxes but still delivers vital services to the people of Albany.”
While there is no budget vote this year, there is a library trustee election on May 18. There are two seats available, both of which carry full five-year terms. Nominating petitions are available online. The documents can also be printed by the open branches and picked up by appointment; please call the select branch to make arrangements. Nominations are due to the Clerk of the City School District of Albany by Wednesday, April 28, at 5:00 pm.
The library will host a virtual meet the candidate forum on Tuesday, May 4, at 6:00 pm. The forum will be livestreamed on YouTube, and recorded for later viewing there.