ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — The Ansonia Public Library is facing some possible cuts if the mayor’s proposed budget passes.
The children’s program would still be on, but the cuts would mean the library would be open less often. Jobs would also be cut.
John Viteri brings his kids to the library. He was disappointed to hear what might happen to the library’s services.
“My wife told me yesterday about it. I couldn’t believe it,” said Viteri. “It’s been there since the 1800s I believe, so it would be a big loss that we would have.”
He is not the only one who is unhappy about the possible cuts. Many oppose them, including Mayor David Cassetti. He calls the budget a worst case scenario.
“I’m hoping that they don’t pass it because I hope the state comes through with their funding,” said Cassetti.
The city needs that money from the state so it won’t have to make cuts to the budget. It needs help paying for schools, since costs have gone up.
“A three-million-dollar increase – that’s three times the size of a normal increase,” said City Attorney John Marini.
Cassetti has proposed the budget cuts to make up that money. The cuts would mean the library would only be open two days a week. Full-time staff would also face layoffs. They would be replaced by part-time employees. It is a choice city leaders do not want to have to make.
“This is a tough budget. I do not want to raise taxes on the residents of Ansonia,” said Cassetti. “I made a promise, a promise to them three years ago.”
Though residents don’t want to see their taxes go up, they don’t want to lose their library either.
“I think the library’s more important,” said Viteri. “There’s a lot of history there so I think it would affect us all.”
The proposed budget would not include any cuts to the city’s public safety expenses.