Lewiston, NY, Village Budget Expands Salaries, Benefits, but Disappoints Library

On April 24, Lewiston’s (NY) Village Board of Trustees approved a $2.88 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The 5% tax increase will cover increased costs for medical insurance, workers’ compensation insurance as well as salaries.

Officials made what were characterized as minor changes to the budget since a tentative version was presented to the public on April 16. The spending plan, which increases spending by 6.4%, includes $4,000 for a yet-to-be-determined “special project” at Lewiston Public Library.

The budget does not include $45,000 requested by Librarian Ronald Shaw. The Lewiston Library is totally funded by the Town of Lewiston at $350,000, up 5% from this year. But the lack of village funding has been a sticking point for some years, since the town funding is “outside the village funds,” which do not include village taxpayers.

“I have to be grateful for what I get. I hope I can prove our worth and eventually receive more. But I look at libraries like Medina and Batavia, which have similar-sized populations, and they have budgets of over $500,000,” Shaw told The Buffalo News after the hearing.

Shaw said they have been able to add more library hours by changing to more-flexible part-time hours (without benefits) due to a recent retirement.

“I’d fight like heck not to lose these hours, but now patrons are asking for longer [library] hours on Thursday nights and Saturdays, but there’s just no way,” said Shaw.