Ogdensburg Public Library Seeks Help From Taxpayers

Ogdensburg Public Library Seeks Help From Taxpayers

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Magazines, tax help, data bases, even a friendly turtle names Sophie - all those are at the Ogdensburg Public Library. But another year of city budget cuts means the library will ask school district residents to vote for a tax increase. People are hearing about it.

“They can't understand why the cuts were made is the biggest statement we receive. And then it's like, okay, what can we do to help,” said Penny Kerfien, Ogdensburg Public Library executive director.

School district voters last year okayed paying taxes to support the library. It was the first time ever. A cut of almost $55,000 in city funding this year means the library is asking again. A yes vote would raise $75,000 for the library.

“We are a free entity in the city here basically. We don't charge for our programs and the people here in the community appreciate that fact,” said Kerfien.

Patrons of the library verify that. They say there's not much you can do with the kids anymore that's free and fun.

“They love it. We made water bottle rockets. The Easter egg Ninja hunt. We come to the book sales,” said Amber VanLew and Eric Peets.

Like many in Ogdensburg these days, the library is waiting for the next shoe to drop. That could happen when a state financial restructuring board visits the city later this year. That board is expected to make recommendations for consolidations and perhaps further cuts in city government.

The vote will be on May 15. In most of the school district, a yes vote would raise taxes on a typical home valued at $65,000 by about $13.

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