Li­brary deal­ing with bud­get cuts

Town okays new li­brary then cuts funds to op­er­ate said li­brary?

Richmond Hill Post - - News - David Olsen

The Rich­mond Hill Li­brary Board will be deal­ing with the im­pact of a Rich­mond Hill Town Coun­cil bud­get de­ci­sion at an up­com­ing meet­ing.

On Feb. 26, coun­cil ap­proved an in­crease of 2.4 per cent in mu­nic­i­pal fund­ing for li­brary ser­vices. This is an in­crease of $217,100 to the $9,047,500 in mu­nic­i­pal fund­ing pro­vided in 2018. The board had re­quested an in­crease of 5.9 per cent, or $533,800.

David Bishop, chair of the Rich­mond Hill Li­brary Board, said that the board needs the ex­tra fund­ing to cover op­er­at­ing costs as­so­ci­ated with the new Oak Ridges Li­brary and in­creas­ing de­mand for on­line ser­vices.

Ac­cord­ing to Bishop, in 2013, coun­cil ap­proved the li­brary board’s rec­om­men­da­tion that a new li­brary was needed in Oak Ridges. Af­ter ex­ten­sive com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tions, the pro­ject got un­der­way in 2015. The pro­ject has been marked by de­lays, but Bishop said it’s 90 per cent done and is ex­pected to open in 2019.

“And that’s all won­der­ful. There’s only one thing,” said Bishop. “Plus 2.4 per cent to op­er­ate a li­brary three times larger? Now isn’t that just puz­zling. How does that work?”

Bishop stressed that the li­brary was built by the town and not the li­brary board, whose job it is to pro­vide the ser­vices in the build­ing. “Come on guys, this is not a se­cret! You’re build­ing the build­ing!” said Bishop. “And you’re not pro­vid­ing fund­ing for us to op­er­ate the build­ing.”

Ward 6 coun­cil­lor God­win Chan said he was against the 5.9 per cent in­crease and sought to have the in­crease set at 3.87 per cent, which he said would be enough to pro­vide the same level of ser­vices with­out cut­backs.

Af­ter his mo­tion was not adopted by the ma­jor­ity, Chan voted for the 2.4 per cent in­crease.

“I did do my part to have the li­brary ser­vices main­tained,” said Chan.

Ward 3 coun­cil­lor Cas­tro Liu, who is also on the li­brary board, sup­ported the 5.9 per cent in­crease as well as Chan’s mo­tion.

He said he thinks the 2.4 per cent in­crease was adopted to send a strong mes­sage to all the de­part­ments across Rich­mond Hill that the town is stick­ing with the in­fla­tion rate. A meet­ing on March 28 was to be the first time the li­brary board met in the af­ter­math of coun­cil’s de­ci­sion, and the li­brary board was ex­pect­ing to present rec­om­men­da­tions to how the board can re­spond.

“It’s a big im­pact to the li­brary, let’s put it this way,” said Liu.

The new Oak Ridges Li­brary is sched­uled to open this year

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.