Creates the Norwood Public Library, a public library district including the areas of the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm that lie within the Norwood-Norfolk school district.
TITLE OF BILL: An act in relation to creating the Norwood public library in the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm, county of St. Lawrence; and to amend chapter 672 of the laws of 1993, amending the public authorities law relating to the construction and financing of facilities for certain public libraries, in relation to including the Norwood public library within the provisions of such chapter
PURPOSE: To create a public library district to include the areas of the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm, county of St. Lawrence, to be known as the Norwood Public library.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill provides authority for the formation of a public library district. The formation of the district would require a public hearing to be held and the approval of a majority of voters at an election to be held on or before November 5, 2013. The bill further provides for the organization and structure of the Norwood Public Library.
In addition, the bill adds the Norwood public library to the provisions of the public authorities law relating to the construction and financing of facilities for certain public libraries.
JUSTIFICATION: This legislation has been requested by the North Country Library System with approval of the Town Boards of the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm. The creation of this public library district is vital to avoid permanent closure of the Norwood Library which currently serves the aforementioned communities. The library has been in existence since 1922 and has over 900 registered, active patrons.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediate.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5481--A Cal. No. 996 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 25, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. GRIFFO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, amended on second report, ordered to a third reading, and to be reprinted as amended, retaining its place in the order of third reading AN ACT in relation to creating the Norwood public library in the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm, county of St. Lawrence; and to amend chapter 672 of the laws of 1993, amending the public authorities law relating to the construction and financing of facilities for certain public libraries, in relation to including the Norwood public library within the provisions of such chapter THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Creation of public library district. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special or local law to the contrary, there is hereby created and established in the county of St. Lawrence, a public library district which shall include the areas of the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm that lie within the Norwood-Norfolk School District. The public library district shall be known as the Norwood public library. S 2. Election. 1. The public library district described in this act shall not come into existence unless and until it is approved and the initial proposed budget is approved by a vote of the majority of the qualified voters voting in an election held pursuant to the following provisions: Upon receipt of a petition signed by not less than fifty voters quali- fied to vote at a general town election, the board of trustees of the existing Norwood Library shall give notice and hold a public hearing regarding this proposal to create a public library district, not less than thirty days prior to an election to be held on or before NovemberEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11837-03-1 S. 5481--A 2
5, 2013. If a majority of the voters approve the formation of the district, then the district shall come into existence on the terms and conditions set forth in this act. At such election the issue shall be: (a) whether the public library district therein described with the initial budget therefor proposed by the board of trustees of the Norwood Library shall be created or not; and (b) the election of nine trustees as provided by this act. The trustees of the existing Norwood Library shall give notice of such election by the publication of a notice in one or more newspapers having a general circulation in the district to be served. The first publica- tion of such notice shall be not less than thirty days prior to the date of such election. In addition, the board of trustees of the existing Norwood Library shall cause copies of such notice to be posted conspicu- ously in three public places in the district at least thirty days prior to the date of such election. Such notice shall specify the time when and the place where such election will be held, the issues to be decided at such election and the hours during which polls will be open for the receipt of ballots thereof at all elections from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. The board of trustees of the existing Norwood Library shall desig- nate a resident qualified voter of such district to act as chairperson of any election of such district and shall designate not less than two nor more than four resident qualified voters to act as election inspec- tors and ballot clerks at such elections. No trustee shall serve as chairperson or as an election inspector or ballot clerk. The board of trustees may adopt a resolution providing that such chairperson, election inspectors and ballot clerks shall be paid for their respective services at the initial election. Such resolution, if adopted, may fix reasonable compensation for the services of such officials. Every voter of the district, otherwise qualified to vote at a town election shall be qualified to vote at such election. After the polls have closed at such election, the election inspectors and the ballot clerks shall immediate- ly canvass publicly the ballots cast and the chairperson of the election shall publicly announce the result. Within seventy-two hours thereafter, the chairperson, election inspectors and ballot clerks shall execute and file a certificate of the result of the canvass with the board of trus- tees and the town clerks of Potsdam and Stockholm. 2. In the event that the district is created, there shall be an annual election conducted by the board of trustees of the Norwood public library in accordance with the provisions of subdivision one of this section, at a time to be set by the board, at which election vacancies on the board of trustees shall be filled and at which any proposed budg- et which the board shall determine to submit to the voters pursuant to section four of this act shall be submitted to the voters. 3. Candidates for the office of member of the board of trustees of the Norwood public library shall be nominated by petition. No vacancy on the board of trustees to be filled shall be considered a separate specific office. A separate petition shall be required to nominate each candidate for a vacancy on the board. Each petition shall be directed to the secretary of the board of trustees, shall be signed by at least 50 qual- ified voters of the district, shall state the residence of each signer, and shall state the name and residence of the candidate. In the event that any such nominees shall withdraw candidacy prior to the election, such person shall not be considered a candidate unless a new petition nominating such person in the same manner and within the same time limi- tation applicable to other candidates is filed with the secretary of the board of trustees. Each petition shall be filed with the secretary ofS. 5481--A 3
the board of trustees between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., not later than the thirtieth day preceding the election at which time the candidates nominated are to be elected. In the event the Norwood public library is created, petitions nominating candidates for the board of trustees after the initial election shall be filed with the secretary of the Norwood public library. 4. At any election in such district, the voters may adopt a proposi- tion providing that, in all subsequent elections, vacancies on the board of trustees shall be considered separate specific offices and that the nominating petitions shall describe the specific vacancy upon the board of trustees for which the candidate is nominated, which description shall include at least the length of the term of the office and the name of the last incumbent, if any. No person shall be nominated for more than one specific office. Such procedure shall be followed with respect to all nominations and elections in subsequent years until and unless such proposition is repealed by the electors of the district at a regu- lar election by adoption of a proposition to repeal the same. S 3. Organization and structure. The Norwood public library shall be managed, operated and controlled by a board of trustees consisting of nine members, but in no event shall the board of trustees consist of fewer than five members or more than fifteen. The trustees shall at the first regular meeting of the board determine by lot the year in which each of their terms of office expire, and the terms shall expire as follows: after one year three trustees; after two years three trustees; after three years three trustees. As vacancies occur trustees shall be elected at the annual election provided for by this act to serve three year terms by the voters of the public library district hereby created, such terms to commence on the first day of the month next following the election. Only qualified voters of the district shall be eligible for election to the board of trustees. The board of trustees at its first meeting each year shall elect or appoint a president and vice-president who shall be members of the board and a secretary, treasurer and such other officers as they deem necessary. If the board so determines, the offices of secretary and treasurer may be held by individuals who are not members of the board of trustees and, in that event, such officer may, if the board so deter- mines, receive compensation as fixed by resolution of the board. S 4. Finances. 1. The initial budget for the Norwood public library shall be determined by a vote of the voters of the district in the initial election as hereinafter provided for. All future budgets that increase the Norwood public library proposed total operating expendi- tures over the total operating expenditures in the last preceding fiscal year's budget shall be submitted to the residents voting at the annual election of trustees pursuant to section two of this act. Funds voted for library purposes at the initial election and at all future budget elections shall be considered an annual appropriation therefor and shall be levied and collected yearly in the same manner and at the same time as other taxes in the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm. 2. The board of trustees shall annually file with the clerk of the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm on or before the first day of August an estimate of the proposed budget, including costs of library services, to be raised by levy for the library district in the fiscal year beginning on the first day of January of the following year. The town shall not make any change in the estimate of revenues or expenditures submitted by the board of the library district in preparation of its preliminary budget.S. 5481--A 4
3. The town boards of the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm shall levy a tax against the real property lying within the Norwood-Norfolk School District for the amount to be raised by tax as contained in the annual budget of the Norwood public library. The town board may issue tax anticipation notes, anticipation revenue notes and budget notes pursuant to article 2 of the local finance law to obtain the necessary moneys therefor. 4. The town boards of the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm shall have the power to authorize, sell and issue bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness pursuant to the local finance law in order to permit the Norwood public library to provide facilities or improved facilities for library purposes. Upon written request from the board of trustees of the Norwood public library, after approval by the qualified voters of such district, the town board shall authorize, sell and issue such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness as are necessary to accomplish the improvements specified in the notice. The proceeds of such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall be paid to the treasurer of the Norwood public library and maintained in a segregated account in accordance with section 165.00 of the local finance law and expended by the treasurer only on specific authorization by the board of trustees. 5. The board of trustees of the Norwood public library may accept on behalf of the district any absolute gift, devise or bequest of real or personal property and such conditional gifts, devises or bequests as it shall by resolution approve. 6. The treasurer of the Norwood public library shall be custodian of all funds of the library district, including gifts and trust funds paid over to the trustees. The board of trustees may authorize the investment of funds in the custody of the treasurer in the same manner in which school district funds may be invested. Proceeds of obligations received from the town may be invested in accordance with section 165.00 of the local finance law. The towns of Potsdam and Stockholm shall promptly pay over to the Norwood public library all moneys which belong to or are raised for the library district. No moneys shall be disbursed by the treasurer of the library district except after audit by the board of trustees. The board of trustees of the Norwood library district shall audit all claims and shall order the payment thereof, except as other- wise provided by this section. No such claims shall be audited or ordered paid by the trustees unless an itemized voucher therefor shall be presented to the board of trustees for audit and allowance. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to payment of claims of fixed salaries and amounts which the library districts may be required to pay on account of retirement contributions for past or current services to officers and employees of the library district. The treasurer shall keep such records in such manner as the board of trus- tees may require. S 5. Charter, commencement of operations, and transfer of property and employees. The initial elected trustees shall, within thirty days from the date of approval of the library district by the voters of the district, apply to the board of regents for a charter as a public library. Upon the granting of such a charter by the board of regents, the existing Norwood Library shall be deemed dissolved, and title to all liabilities and assets, including all property, real and personal, and all other tangible and intangible property, trust and other funds, and all other obligations, now held by the Norwood Library shall be trans- ferred to, vested in, and acquired by the Norwood public library estab- lished by this act. Upon the granting of such charter by the board ofS. 5481--A 5
regents, all employees of the Norwood Library shall become employees of the Norwood public library upon the same terms and conditions of employ- ment and at the same rate of pay as their previous employment by Norwood Library. S 6. Ad valorem levy. The several lots and parcels of land within the area of such public library district are hereby determined to be bene- fited by the library facilities and devices existing as of the effective date of this act and the towns of Potsdam and Stockholm are hereby authorized to assess, levy and collect the necessary expenses of opera- tion, maintenance and repair of such facilities and services and such capital improvements, including debt service on bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness of the town issued for the purpose of the Norwood public library as may be hereafter authorized pursuant to the provisions of this act from such lots and parcels of land within the library district in the same manner and at the same time as other town charges. S 7. Education law. Except as otherwise provided by this act, the provisions of the education law relating to public libraries shall be applicable to the Norwood public library established by this act. S 8. Section 5 of chapter 672 of the laws of 1993, amending the public authorities law relating to the construction and financing of facilities for certain public libraries, as separately amended by chapter 417 and 501 of the laws of 2010, is amended as follows: S 5. The following libraries shall be eligible public libraries for purposes of title 4 of article 8 of the public authorities law: Comsewogue Public Library Rogers Memorial Library Company Hendrick Hudson Free Library Riverhead Free Library Northern Onondaga Public Library District Suffern Free Library Haverstraw King's Daughters Public Library Crandall Public Library Sayville Library Monroe Free Library Harborfields Public Library Howland Public Library Patchogue-Medford Library New City Library Babylon Public Library Lindenhurst Memorial Library Great Neck Library Caledonia Public Library Bayport-Blue Point Public Library The Bryant Library Swan Library Bay Shore-Brightwaters Public Library The Albany Public Library Elwood Public Library Peninsula Public Library Smithtown Special Library District Goshen Public Library and Historical Society The Hauppauge Public Library The Nyack Library North Merrick Public Library Southold Free LibraryS. 5481--A 6
The Hampton Library in Bridgehampton, Inc. John Jermain Memorial Library Westhampton Free Library The Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library Commack Public Library Troy Public Library Brunswick Community Library District D.R. Evarts Library District NORWOOD PUBLIC LIBRARY S 9. This act shall take effect immediately.