In 2009, the Library went to the voters in Hudson and Greenport and asked them for $120,000 and $16,500 respectively. 68% of Hudson voters approved the measure while Greenport denied the Library funding by just five votes. Last year the Town of Greenport provided $7,000 from its budget. This is a discretionary amount that changes each year. Approximately 20% of Library cardholders and program attendees live in Greenport.
Community-based funding from the City of Hudson and the Town of Greenport’s direct appropriation represents only 29% of the Library’s budget. Compared to other Columbia County Libraries, the Hudson Area Library ranks last in per capita funding, at $12.20 per person.
The Library’s operating budget is now close to $500,000. It is not feasible to raise 71% of the Library’s budget through private donations as well as minimal support from the Town of Stockport, Columbia County and New York State every year. Multi-year grants from several local foundations that have helped us get into the new building are now expiring, leaving an $80,000 shortfall for next year. It is time for the Library to be supported more fully through community based funding.
The Library’s New Building
The Galvan Foundation underwrote the rehabilitation of the Armory building. It is estimated the renovations to the Armory cost $8,500,000. If we were to go to the taxpayers to bond for this, the cumulative cost to Hudson City taxpayers would have been $17,000,000 over the course of a 30-year bond.
In addition, the Library’s Capital Campaign Committee spent 6 years raising $1,650,000 from private donors, foundations and state construction fund grants to furnish the inside of the new library space.
The Galvan Foundation and other local businesses and foundations have provided transition operating support to help us get into the new building. These grants end this fiscal year, leaving a shortfall of $80,000 for next year. The Library budget covers $20,000 in rent for the library office and Community Room, plus insurance, cleaning, and utilities (electric, water, Internet, etc.) – as well as staff salaries, fees to the library system and purchases of books and other materials.
The Library provides a safe and welcoming haven for children, teens, parents and seniors, with programs that educate, entertain and inspire. We are open to everyone – regardless of income – and most of our programs are free. In a time when the City of Hudson is prospering, the Library extends support and opportunity to all.