Ledyard to close Gales Ferry library due to budget impasse

Interior of the Gales Ferry Library in Ledyard (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

LEDYARD, Conn. (WTNH) — There has been a library in the Gales Ferry section of Ledyard since 1923, but come November 3rd, that tradition could end.

2017 10 18 gales ferry library 2 Ledyard to close Gales Ferry library due to budget impasse
Gales Ferry Library in Ledyard (WTNH / Tina Detelj)

“It’s the biggest challenge I’ve faced in government,” said Mayor Fred Allyn III.

He says closing the chapter on this long time library comes because of a loss in state funding through the governor’s executive order during the state budget impasse.

“A 1.515-million dollar cut for a really lean bedroom community is a huge challenge,” said Mayor Allyn.

He believes the town could save about $130,000 with the move which leaves only the Bill Library in Ledyard.

“It’s horrible because children need places to go especially quiet areas where they can concentrate,” said Ledyard resident Maribel Lugardo.

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“We believe that only $63,000 dollars can be saved,” said John Bolduc, Chairman of the Ledyard Library Commission.

The Gales Ferry Library is handing out contact information for town and state leaders so residents can voice their concerns.

“This is all caused by Hartford. It’s ridiculous,” said Bolduc. “What is it 108 days 107 days or something like that?”

“It makes me really sad. You know I have two little girls and we live right down the street,” said Peggy Martinez who lives in Gales Ferry. “I don’t have a vehicle. So it’s going to make it that much harder for us to get to the library.”

“The unionized employees from Gales Ferry would move over to Ledyard and it is entirely possible that all non-unionized employees would be laid off,” said Mayor Allyn.

The mayor estimates the 15 part-time employees will be the first to go.

“This is the first and not the last,” said the Mayor.

Because the school department makes up 70 percent of the town’s budget the mayor says any future layoffs could include teachers.

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