Library officials request no increase

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NAUGATUCK — The Whittemore Library will be moving forward with its current funding level.

Library officials presented their 2015-16 budget request to the Board of Finance Monday night. The request is $582,000, which is the same amount the library received this fiscal year.

“We know that the borough is facing financial challenges, especially with the wastewater treatment plan mandate, so the library’s Board of Trustees decided to make do for another year with our current level of funding and not request an increase from the borough for the coming year,” Whittemore Library Director Jocelyn Miller said.

In past years, library officials requested more money for upgrades to the building, technology and books. Last year, the library requested a $70,000 increase. That request was reduced to a $5,000 increase and the borough provided snow removal, which saved approximately $2,000.

The library budget remained flat from 2007 to 2014.

Miller said, in order to make the budget work, the library had to reduce hours of service, eliminate raises, move $20,000 from the building repair budget to the operating budget, cancel some newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and reduce the cleaning service by 25 percent.

Miller said those adjustments are expected to ensure the library ends the fiscal year in July under budget.

Board of Finance member Dan Sheridan, who has spoken in support of the library’s budget in the past, voiced his support for keeping the budget Miller requested.

“I think they’ve done a good job controlling costs,” Sheridan said. “If you want to have a vibrant community, which a number of you have talked about, I think the library is a key part of that.”

The finance board agreed to move forward with the library’s budget proposal as it was presented.