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2007 Budget Request

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On August 30, 2006 , the Library transmitted its 2007 budget request to Erie County 's Division of Budget, Management and Finance. This request was developed under the direction of the Library Board's Budget and Finance Committee and was also reviewed by the Board's Executive Committee, with final approval from the full Library Board on August 24, 2006 , pursuant to Resolution 2006-44.

Click here to view the 2007 Budget Request in Brief (7 page PDF)

Click here to view the 2007 Budget Request including charts and graphs (64 page PDF)

This resolution and attached budget schedules produce a 2007 base budget request generally consistent with the four-year plan submitted in August 2005 and within the County support funding limit indicated by the County Budget Office for 2007.

Under the base budget scenario, the County Library Tax would remain unchanged at $21,671,833 for the third year in a row. Pursuant to that four-year plan, the library materials budget was shifted from County Capital to the decreased Library Operating fund at a reduced level of $1.99 million in the 2006 originally adopted budget to accommodate anticipated one-time downsizing expenses. The revenue supporting the one-time costs in 2006 is now shifted to rebuild the 2007 base library materials budget to $3.9 million.

Base Funding Level Risks System's Long-term Viability

Unfortunately, this reduced level of County funding (LESS than the Library received in 1997) is insufficient to successfully sustain even the present downsized library operation into the future. After closing 15 libraries, laying-off more than 225 full and part-time employees, reducing hours of service at almost every remaining location and looking for every opportunity to streamline, innovate, and fundraise; three libraries are presently not open enough hours per week to meet New York State minimum standards. Based upon System/County provided support, as many as 12 libraries are at risk in 2007 or beyond. Should a library continue to fail to meet New York State minimum standards, the library's registration would eventually be revoked and the library would become ineligible to receive public funds from any source and can no longer operate as a public library.

The County funding reduction also caused the Library System itself to fail New York State local funding maintenance of effort requirements for the year ending 2005. Staff is working with State officials on the process of requesting a temporary waiver to avoid a 25% reduction in New York State Library System Aid. Such a waiver may be granted only once every five years, so further County funding reductions could have dire consequences.

Finally, even those libraries that remain open in 2006 are struggling to provide good public service within the constraints of a severely reduced budget. Many are operating under reduced hours of service, with some libraries open only 18 hours per week.

To proactively address the situation, this budget request contains groupings of service restoration proposals, starting with the most urgently needed to prevent future library closings, and progressing through a series of service restorations that will allow the downsized Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System to meet continued high public demand for service at a cost that would still be LESS THAN THE TAXPAYERS PROVIDED IN THE YEAR 2000 and approximately equal to what was provided in 1999! The proposals are summarized in the table below:


Erie County Property Tax for Library Purposes:



Restorations to Meet New York State Minimum Standards



Restorations to Allow Libraries Remaining Open to Provide Effective Service



Restorations to Reinforce Libraries in Higher Population Centers, Particularly Those Serving Patrons from Closed Libraries



Restorations to Address Specific Problem Areas or System-wide Programming/Service Opportunities



Erie County Property Tax for Library Purposes:


The revenue impact of these requests, should all be approved, would be to restore $2,316,860 to the Library Tax. The expense for these requests is shown in one Restoration Request line of the Form 4 operating expense budget. Detail is provided in the attached Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, 2007 Budget Request, Service Restoration Recommendations.


The budget highlights document details the recommended 2007 operating and grants budget and includes:

•  Resolution 2006-44 B&ECPL 2007 Budget Request

•  A 10 Year Chart Showing County Support for Library Operations and Materials

•  County Form 4 Appropriation Detail Report

•  B&ECPL 2007 Service Restoration Recommendations

•  Budget Narrative

•  Forms 1 and 2, Budget Estimate Forms