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Voters OK Riverhead library vote, nix $9.8M Hampton Bays bond

Riverhead Free Library May 19, 2011

Riverhead Free Library May 19, 2011 Credit: Handout

Two votes affecting separate East End libraries this week yielded passage of one and defeat of another.

Voters at the polls Tuesday passed the Riverhead Public Library’s proposed $3,751,643 budget for the 2017-18 year, 148 to 88. The budget, which will go into effect at the start of the next fiscal year later in 2017, asked voters to approve a 1.03 percent increase from the library’s approved $3,667,327 budget last year.

Riverhead library director Kerri McMullen-Smith said Wednesday that the budget vote “went well” and that she and the library’s board of trustees “are very happy that it passed.”

The new budget is expected to help pay for several library-sponsored programs, including science, technology, arts and math programs for local children and teens, and arts classes for adults.

In Hampton Bays, voters on Tuesday rejected the nearly $10 million bond for the library by a vote of 571 to 336.

The $9,877,000 bond would have paid for renovations to the Ponquogue Avenue building — which library officials said would provide a long-term solution toward the acquisition of nearby property to provide additional parking for the library. The library’s last major renovation was completed in 2003 and expanded the building to roughly 20,000 square feet.

Though library officials had previously floated the possibility of putting the referendum up for a vote at another time if the bond was rejected, that doesn’t appear to be the case for the time being based on a statement issued by library director Susan LaVista following the vote.

“The Board intends to pursue alternate options to purchase the property, no details at this time,” LaVista’s statement read. “At this time, there are no plans to put up another referendum.”

The vote was originally scheduled for March 14, but was postponed after a blizzard was predicted.


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