by Lauren Krupar

Reporter

Cuyahoga Falls -- More books and more hours are slated for this year after Cuyahoga Falls Library Board members unanimously approved the 2007 budget Tuesday.

"It's been a pretty difficult year for everyone involved, but it ended very well," Library Director Kevin Rosswurm said at Tuesday's Board meeting. "We're off to a good start this year and I think it will continue."

The library's 2007 budget includes $2.7 million in revenue -- almost $1 million of which comes from the levy's passage in November -- and more than $2.5 million in expenses.

"We're trying to distribute the levy money wisely and prudently," Board president Jon Strubbe said. "The community now has a more vested interest in the library operations because they are paying for some of our budget."

Almost 22 percent of this year's expenses will involve the library's collection. The library plans to spend $340,000 for adult and children books, $124,000 for its audio-visual department, $70,000 for computer software, $30,000 for periodicals and $1,000 for interlibrary loans.

"Because of the levy, we're able to buy more books, more DVDs and provide more information," Rosswurm said. "We tried to put as much of our budget as possible into our collection."

The library will spend $565,000 to update its collection this year, compared to more than $303,700 last year.

While Rosswurm said he has no exact numbers on how many books, CDs and other library materials will be purchased this year, he said he's planning for a "significant increase" in the library's more than 149,500-item collection.

"We want to develop and maintain the best collection as possible," Rosswurm said. "We're really working on expanding our collection."

Other key expenditures include $1.1 million in salaries, more than $152,000 for retirement benefits, $140,000 for insurance benefits and $121,000 for property maintenance and repair, as well as security and monitoring services provided to the library.

The library also will be open for more than 100 additional hours this year compared to 2005, Rosswurm said.

The library will be open for an additional hour every Sunday and will remain open on Sundays during the summer. With the levy's failures in 2005 and 2006, the library cut 13 hours a week last year, or more than 600 hours a year.

"The very first thing we did [after the levy was approved in 2006] was restore our hours," Rosswurm said.

The library is budgeting for $2.7 million in revenue for 2007, compared to $1.8 million last year, but Rosswurm said that number could change.

"We're still not quite sure how much money we will get from the state," Rosswurm said. The state funding accounts for more than 50 percent of the library's budget. "On July 1, the state goes into a new budget year and we get a new government and a new legislature.

Rosswurm said the library has budgeted the revenues as remaining constant from last year, approximately $1.8 million, but has allowed for change.

"We budgeted conservatively so that if the state lowers that, we can handle it," Rosswurm said.

E-mail: lkrupar@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3141