MASSENA - New petitions with 85 signatures will be turned in to the Brasher town clerk as part of the effort to site a branch library in Brasher.
Were very confident. All of them are signed correctly, with many of the same people who signed the petition during an original effort that was questioned by the town of Brashers attorney, Massena Public Library Director Elaine Dunne-Thayer said Monday.
Members of the librarys Board of Trustees met in a special session Monday night to sign the resolution that passes the petitions on to Brasher Town Clerk Ellen Fukes for the towns review.
Were here to sign a resolution that says we have 85 petition signatures, said Emily Hutchison, the boards secretary, who voted along with Linda McDonald and Robert Manning in favor of the resolution. Mark Englert and John Jack Bain were unable to attend Mondays meeting because of scheduling conflicts, but Ms. Hutchison noted that they had voted in favor of the first resolution.
Those signatures, Ms. Hutchison said, are enough to place a proposition on the November ballot, asking Brasher residents if they wanted a branch library, which would cost $56,000 a year and would be located in Crapser Hall in the former Boothe Building in downtown Brasher Falls.
Officials needed 80 signatures, 10 percent of the registered voters in Brasher who had voted in the last gubernatorial election.
Its the second go-around for the signature-gathering process after Roger A. Linden, the attorney for the town of Brasher, had questioned the validity of the petitions during a hearing last month because volunteer Michele Ellis-Porcaro had signed her name on each page of signatures, including those she had not personally witnessed.
Ms. Ellis-Porcaro had told Mr. Linden that, while there were some signatures she had not personally witnessed, she had personally seen others sign the petition as she went door-to-door seeking supporters for the initiative. However, Ms. Ellis-Porcaro said, her signing each page of petitions was simply a misunderstanding about the proper procedure.
Among those that she did not witness were signatures gathered at the local IGA supermarket, LBSH Housing and during a local teacher conference. Those signatures had been witnessed by other qualified volunteers, who should have had their signature notarized at the bottom of their respective pages, according to Mr. Linden.
All together, they turned in 11 pages with 130 signatures, but indicated on their cover letter that 89 were residents from the town of Brasher.
Because of the confusion over which signatures would be declared valid and which would not, organizers have started from scratch in their attempts to garner 80 signatures for the second time.
Now, Ms. Dunne-Thayer said, Weve done as Brasher asked us to do. We hope theyll be passed on to St. Lawrence County (Board of Elections).
They must be received at the Board of Elections by Sept. 20 to be included on the November ballot.
Library officials say that, by their calculations, the $56,000 annual budget would translate to 67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of $67 for the owner of a home assessed at $100,000.
Brasher Town Supervisor M. James Dawson said, based on the town raising $385,014 in taxes for their highway and general fund, the increase would be approximately 14.5 percent.
Library trustees will hold their regular meeting at 6 p.m. tonight and the Brasher Town Board meets at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Members of the librarys Board of Trustees are expected to be present at the Brasher meeting.