Struggling Norwood Library seeking public vote to create taxing district
NORWOOD – The financially struggling Norwood Library is planning a public vote to establish the library as a taxing district to allow the facility to remain open.
If the Nov. 15 vote fails, the library will close permanently, said Director Marcia Murray in a prepared statement released late last week.If the vote is successful, a budget of $85,000 will fund the library annually and a board of trustees will be elected by voters of the district, she said. The service area of the district would mirror the current service area of the library, she said.
Currently, the library is funded with appropriations from the Village of Norwood and the Town of Potsdam. However, the funding is no longer sufficient to sustain library operations, she said.
Late last year, after meeting with North Country Library System consultant Emily Owen, the Norwood Library Board laid off two employees and cut the number of days the library is open to three per week.
Formation of the new district will allow the library to collect taxes directly from taxpayers, similar to the way property and school district taxes are collected. The average cost to taxpayers would be $6 per month, according to the library website, www.norwoodnylibrary.org/
Currently, the board of trustees of the library is self perpetuating, Murray said. Individuals express an interest in volunteering their time as a trustee and the current board appoints them when openings occur. If the library district is created, trustees will run for office. The initial slate of trustees will be voted on during the Nov. 15 vote.
The Norwood Library Board president is Phyllis McFadden. Patrick Rourk is vice president, Penny Clark is secretary and Janice Crowe is treasurer. Other trustees include Susan Perry, Margeret Boyle, Denise Divencenzo, Marylou Cutler and Cindy Flint, according to the library website.
Several years ago, a separate Potsdam Public Library taxing jurisdiction was established to broaden the area from which the library receives tax funding. That district dovetails with the Potsdam Central School District which includes much of the Town of Potsdam, and small parts of Stockholm, Parishville, Canton and Pierrepont.
In the meantime, the Norwood library is planning several events and fund-raisers:
• A pancake breakfast was served Sunday at the Norwood Municipal Building.
• The library will sell books at booth during Norwood’s Autumn Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. Paperbacks will be five cents each or six for 25 cents. Hardcover books will sell for 50 cents to $3. A raffle will also be offered.
• To celebrate National Sewing Month, Penny Clark will offer a class to make a stylish handbag for ages 12 and older from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 24 at the library. All materials will be provided at no cost. Those wishing to attend should pre-register at the library.
The library is currently open Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon, 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.; and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.