New Trustees for Howland Library

Voters approve $1.2 million budget

By Chip Rowe

Beacon voters on April 25 approved the 2019-20 budget for the Howland Public Library and elected two trustees to its nine-member board.

The budget passed, 172-15, and Kathleen Furfey and Diane Landau Flayter ran unopposed to fill two seats left open by the departures of Prue Posner and Donna Haynes. Trustees serve five-year terms. The other trustees are Jan Dolan (president), Karen Twohig, Stacy Christensen, Arabella Droullard, Randy Lashua, Mark O’Malley and Tom Rigney.

The library’s total spending for 2019-20 will be about $1.2 million, nearly all of which comes from property taxes. The board voted in February to exceed the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap, which would have allowed it to raise its levy by $21,000. Instead, it put a 5.5 percent increase, or $58,000, before voters.

Most of the library’s expenses are for personnel costs ($886,000) and administrative expenses ($129,000). It also plans to spend about $44,000 on books; $13,000 on audio, movies and music; $8,450 on databases, $6,700 on magazine subscriptions; and $28,000 on programming. Building and maintenance costs are expected to be $72,000.

In a report, the library said it served nearly 11,000 people and circulated more than 101,500 items in 2017-18. It also hosted more than 250 events and programs for adults and more than 300 for children.