JAMESTOWN – One of the largest centers for reading and information in the City of Jamestown is looking for more funding from the City Council.
James Prendergast Library Executive Director Tina Scott asked Councilmembers Monday Night to increase funding in the city’s 2019 budget from $50,000 to $100,000 after 2017 funding was cut in half in 2017.
Scott said in order to continue to provide needed resources for the city the library needs to find sustainable income.
“Obviously the library is just a natural place to go and it is welcoming to everybody,” said Scott. “I can’t imagine that we won’t at some point be successful in getting some type of sustainable funding.”
She said so far the library is operating with a skeleton crew, relying on future fundraisers to keep the lights on.
“We’ve done our part and we really cut back,” explained Scott. “We are doing everything we can to remain open so we can continue to be a library. We have to be open 55 hours a week in order to even be a library, not just a central library, we have to be open 55 hours because we are in a community over 30,000.”
Jamestown City Councilman Andrew Liuzzo spoke to Scott during the meeting. He said he’d like to help but the city has budget problems of its own.
“There is no money, if we develop economic development, which we heard tonight that there is a lot of plans, if we can get the tax base increased, people complaining about another tax you can’t blame them,” said Liuzzo. “This year we had a lot of things done on the streets but there was a lot of years that nothing was done, and where is the tax money going, well the tax money is going to pay expenses that (are) out of our control that we can’t reign in, it’s the same story. Until we can get the city on a better financial, stable foundation everybody’s going to suffer, everything we support is going to suffer.”
This is the third year Scott has asked council members to help with the library’s funding. In 2016 the budget was cut from $350,000 to $100,000.