The Cedar Rapids City Council and the city’s Library Board of Trustees now have figured out how to pay the library’s operating bills for the fiscal year beginning July 1, but there are “challenges” in the future, City Manager Jeff Pomeranz emphasized last week in his budget proposal to the council.
For the fiscal year beginning July 1 — with the new downtown library opening and the west-side branch moving to a new, renovated spot — the city has had to use some creativity to come up with about $1 million to cover library operating costs, expenses the city has not had to pay since the flood of 2008 drove the library into a temporary home at Westdale Mall.
“A long-term funding strategy needs to be developed for funding needs beyond fiscal year 2014,” Pomeranz said in his budget proposal.
Bob Pasicznyuk, the library director, said last week that the downtown library and west-side branch will not need to curtail hours in the next budget year. However, he noted that the Des Moines Public Library system does have to do that, and Greg Heid, the library director in Des Moines, said the Des Moines library, in fact, took a $500,000 hit in the current budget year. The result is that the downtown library there is closed on Saturdays, and each of the six city branch libraries must close one day a week, too.
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