During the meeting representatives from the James Prendergast Library will be on hand to make the case for no funding cuts from the city for the library in 2018. That may be a difficult task for the City Council, which is working to find a way to offset a $950,000 budget deficit for next year.
In his executive budget, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi called for a 50 percent cut in library funding, from $100,000 this year to just $50,000 in 2018. That’s just 14 percent of the funding the city had provided for the library in 2015.
During its October meeting, Library board president Tom Rankin said the it’s important the city council work to maintain the same funding amount.
“It’s the city council that has to approve the budget. The mayor has a lot of influence over the budget, obviously, but it’s the city council that has to approve it,” Rankin told WRFA following the October board meeting. “We’re pushing the city council to keep this institution open and give the needed funding to the library. The mayor is proposing yet another deficit budget and hoping the state will come in. We’re asking for five percent of the deficit, or even a tiny percentage of the overall operating budget, with that extra $50,000.”
Library officials have said the cut would drastically impact services, including the ability for the library to order new materials, including books, next year.
The council will meet Monday at 6:30 p.m. to further discuss the budget and hear from library officials, which must be a approved by Dec. 1. A budget hearing is slated for Monday Nov. 20 at 6 p.m., with the council expected to finalize and act on the budget during its Nov. 27 voting session. The council’s regular work session begins at 7:30 p.m.