Library vote on Tuesday
COMPILED BY LIZ FINNEGAN
The Bayport-Blue Point and Connetquot public libraries will hold a budget and trustee vote on Tuesday, April 10. The Sayville Public Library vote will take place on Super Tuesday, May 15, in conjunction with the school budget vote.
Bayport-Blue Point Public Library
Residents in the BBP district will be voting on a $2,478,809 budget. The cost per household in the towns of Brookhaven and Islip will be around $10 more in taxes a year.
Incumbent trustee Stephanie Heineman is running for another term on the one open seat this year. The vote will take place at the library from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Director Mike Firestone said the library is as popular as ever and has added more services. He said one of the new additions is a kiosk that allows patrons to download tech programs from one source.
Another new program is set to begin shortly. “We will become a passport facility,” Firestone said. BBP will be one of the few libraries in the county that offer those services. “There are six or seven employees that will begin training in April,” he added, noting that it will offer those services when other facilities, such as the post office, are closed evenings and weekends. “We will keep providing the services that the community is looking for,” he added.
Another exciting program is coming soon. BBP Library shares a parking lot with a cemetery, and the library recently received permission to map out the cemetery and maintain a database for that property.
And the St. Ursula Center convent on Middle Road is still being considered as a possible new location for the library. Firestone said that it is “still being explored.” BBS Architects have done a preliminary cost estimate for turning the convent into a library. Firestone said that the estimated cost is less than $12 million. “But that doesn’t include acquisition costs,” he said, and noted that a similar study on the cost of renovating and expanding the current library is estimated to be around $13.5 million. However, that does not include the cost of moving the library to another, temporary location until the construction is completed.
“Nothing is set in stone,” he said. “We are still waiting for more information.”
Connetquot Public Library
The new library budget is $6,336,000. If passed, it would amount to an approximate tax increase of $7.9 per household. Library director Kimberly Decristofaro said that the money would be used for a new roof and teen area. “There are a lot of new projects we want to put in place this year,” she said.
But there are a lot of innovative ideas that are already in place in the library, such as a virtual reality lab. And it seems that many people are already taking advantage of it, along with other programs.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of people coming in to use our library services,” she said.
“It’s all about the services and events we offer; education is for all ages. [The library] is a place to communicate with people and try new things.”
In addition to the budget vote, there are two positions up for election on the five-member board of trustees. Incumbent Dolores Roman is running for reelection unopposed. George Kreuscher is also running unopposed for the vacant seat that had been held by Robert Dennis.
Voting will take place at the library between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
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