NORTH TONAWANDA – Voters approved the city’s $1.34 million share of the library budget and elected the former city accountant to the board at voting at the Meadow Drive library last week.
Of the 297 people who voted, 247 approved the budget.
The entire amount, $1.7 million, is covered with contributions from the state and county and some neighboring communities. North Tonawanda’s $1.34 million share rose by $31,832 over last year, Library Director Peggy Waite said, citing increases in retirement costs and materials such as books, DVDs, e-books and online resources.
“It’s a pretty tight budget,” she said.
The new member of the library board is David Jakubaszek, who retired last summer and was the only one on the April 10 ballot for a five-year term on the five-member board.
“He won by a landslide,” Waite said with a laugh.
Starting in July, Jakubaszek will replace retiring board member Henry Stempin. His 31 years of service included the library’s move to its current Meadow Drive home from its old home on Goundry Street, now the Carnegie Art Center. For his time and dedication, he was given a trustee award by Nioga Library System, a nonprofit library cooperative for Niagara, Orleans and Genesee counties.
Jakubaszek, who remembers spending time in the Goundry library’s basement-based children’s section, said he is looking forward to staying involved.
“I started out in the basement,” he said of his boyhood memories. “Then, when the city decided to build the building, I was in the accounting department and I was involved in borrowing the money to build the building.”
He even had a piece of old shelving from the former library in his City Hall office.
“It’s still there,” he said.