Letter: Huntington library closing Friday nights?

Huntington Public Library (June 29, 2011) Huntington Public Library (June 29, 2011) Photo Credit: Alexi Knock

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I was outraged to read in a recent budget newsletter that the Huntington Public Library board has decided to close the main branch on Fridays at 6 p.m., three hours early, starting in July. This plan is part of the proposed budget for 2013-14.

On March 15, I received an email to announce a meeting of the board on March 19 to discuss the proposed budget -- a meeting I could not attend on such short notice. The vote on the 2013-14 budget is set for April 16, too soon to hear any reasonable objections from taxpayers.

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The board says it chose not to exceed the New York State tax levy cap of 2 percent, and it cites the financial challenges of participating in the state employee retirement system, rising health care costs and increasing contractual salary obligations for its employees as the main reasons for the budgetary difficulty. This is surprising because of the recently proposed plans to renovate the library, a building that was extensively and expensively renovated in 1998, and which seems more than adequate for the average user.

Patricia McKenna-Bausch, Huntington

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