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NYM library denied funds for extra staff; Liquor store reports strong profits

The New York Mills City Council has denied a request by the public library for an additional $2,000 a year to pay for more staff time.

Specifically, the funds would have paid for part-time library staff to work an additional three hours per week, allowing two employees to be at the library during open hours.

Councilor Julie Gerber explained the decision: The state sets a minimum contribution that cities are expected to provide for library expenses, and the city already gives almost $15,500 more than the state requires.

The 2013 state's minimum aid to the library is set at $61,143.  The preliminary 2013 city budget has the proposed aid level to the library at $76,640. 

Gerber said, "During tough financial times, the city can look at cutting back in other areas for all other departments, however with the library there is little room for adjustment" because of the state's requirement.

Gerber said, "It is our recommendation to deny that request. Because the minimum the state sets is increased every year."

Library director Julie Adams made this request for the last two years. Both times it has been denied.

In other news, Mills Liquor reported higher profits this year than last. October revenues pushed the liquor store's total earnings to $15,240 higher than last year at this same time.

Manager Kim Hoban said, "We are looking at a very good year this year, probably the very best year since I started (in 2008)."

Hoban told the council that the increase in revenue hasn't come without some extra work on the part of her and her staff.

Hoban said the trick is, "constantly promoting new products" and they, "took advantage of the competition."

The other thing Hoban said added to her success is "finding the products that this area enjoys... getting feedback from customers and bringing in what they like."

The liquor store has, "gotten some excellent prices on wine and liquor. It's a lot of work to put in new products all the time," Hogan said.

In a follow-up interview, City Clerk Darla Berry said the liquor store's profits cover a $54,000 city bond payment each year, after paying all of its own expenses.

The council also heard reports on:

-The NY Mills City Police Department, which was audited by the state in October and was found to be 100 percent compliant with legislative mandates and Board of Peace Officer Standards.

-Beginning Feb. 1, the city employer's family health plans will change from average cost back to a percentage plan. The percentage plan takes the actual cost and splits with city contribution 75 percent and employee contribution 25 percent. With this change, the city's portion of medical is expected to increase about 5 percent.

Most employees will see lower monthly premiums, however the city is still awaiting premium rate adjustments from the insurance company.