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December 06. 2012 11:03PM

Meredith library trustees seek more money from town

MEREDITH - The town library trustees came before the board of selectmen this week to make them aware that their budget request for next year is higher than usual.

"We went to the board to tell them that we have contributed a great deal from our own trust funds over the past several years, and we can't continue to do that," said Rhetta Colon, chairman of the library trustees.

Though the library is owned by the town, much of the building's maintenance and operating expenses have been funded by library trust funds. Since 2008, the trustees have used the funds to pay for $113,000 in building maintenance and $44,000 in operating expenses. Those funds have reduced the low-interest earnings on the trust funds' principal, library officials said.

The trustees said the library's prepared 2013 budget is $36,831 above last year's "because the trustees can no longer continue to cover the building operating and maintenance" costs, the trustees said in a letter to the community. "At the request of the (board of selectmen) for level funding, the library trustees have compensated for increased personnel costs by reducing the library's operating expenses. The operating expenses which were cut from the town budget were then funded by library trust funds."

Since 2008, the trustees have complied with the selectmen's budget recommendations, Colon said.

Apart from the budget, the library needs repairs and improvements that will cost between $241,000 and $305,000. When those changes are made, there will be "considerable" savings in the library's budget, trustees said.

Selectman Miller Lovett said the board will be considering the library's budget increase request as it continues the town budgeting process.

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Dan Seufert may be reached at dseufert@newstote.com.


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