A new budget approved Thursday moves the Farmington Community Library closer to its pre-pandemic operations.
Consultant Brian Camiller of Plante Moran said after two tough years, the 2022 budget “is a step back toward normalcy.”
“There are still some lingering issues due to the pandemic and some things not necessarily under the control of the library,” he added.
Property taxes steady
The pandemic did not affect property taxes, Camiller said, which account for 95 percent of the library’s budget. When the 2021 fiscal year closes on June 30, a $220,000 budget surplus will transfer to a capital improvements fund.
The $6.9 million 2022 budget anticipates a small property tax increase. The largest portion of the budget, salaries and benefits, moves closer to pre-COVID levels, after a 2020 furlough that affected 85 percent of staff.
Pay increases, new staff
Later in the meeting, trustees approved a 4 percent hike in the salary scale and a flat 4 percent merit increase for staff, which usually works on a 0-4 percent scale.
“We’re comfortably in the black, we have lower staffing than usual, and it’s been a really hard year,” trustee Michele Kelley said. “I also think it’s very clear that this is what our community wants us to spend their money on.”
The budget also includes salaries for open positions deemed necessary by library supervisors. Other spending is in line with 2021, Camiller said.
$568,000 surplus possible
The new budget puts fees for professional services at $250,000. Trustees increased that 2021 line item earlier this year to $650,000, to account for thousands of dollars in fees paid after the furlough to several consulting firms.
If everything goes as planned, Camiller added, trustees will transfer $568,000 into the capital fund.
“A budget is a living document all year long,” he said. “We would expect multiple amendments throughout the year.”