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Voters Say 'Yes' To Mamaroneck Library Budget

MAMARONECK, N.Y. - The Mamaroneck Library's 2012-2013 proposed $2.7 million budget passed with 55 percent of the resident's vote Wednesday night, according to unofficial poll results.

Joseph Vozza, library trustee, hoped for a comparable turnout to last year's 359 voters, and he wasn't disappointed. This year, 595 voters cast their ballot at the Mamaroneck Library, with 328 yes votes, said Mary Soto, a library employee. Final numbers won't be available until all absentee ballots are counted.

"That's good news for the library and our residents," said Vozza, who is in his first year as library trustee.

The proposed budget included an 18.25 percent increase to the tax levy, which forced village residents to decide whether the library's services were worth paying more in their taxes. The translation for residents is a $75 increase in their taxes, based on an average assessed home of $15,000, Warner said.

"It's a tough pill to swallow, and I know a lot of people are talking about it," Vozza said. "I think going forward it's important for the community that we have a strong library. That certainly outweighs the result of having to layoff employees, which would defeat the purpose of the project that expanded the library."

If the budget was voted down, the tax rate would have reverted back to the 2011-2012 rate and resulted in cuts to staff, hours, programs and the collection, said Steven Warner, treasurer for the Library Board of Trustees, who estimated the library's shortfall would have been between $300,000 and $350,000.

The new 31,300 square foot library is double the size of the old one, which caused a significant one-time step-up in operating costs from $1.7 million to $1.8 million and debt payment from $800,000 to $895,731.

"It's a new facility and it's double the size," Vozza said. "You now have that servicing coming into play on the bonds."

Vozza and three other sitting trustees were also on the ballot, but none were opposed, barring write-in candidates - 11 residents voted for Helen Rafferty as a write-in candidate.

All four current trustees were re-elected, including Vozza with 421 votes. Leonard Tallevi received 415 votes; Fred Rosenberg received 399 votes; and Eileen Cohen received 385 votes.

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