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Budget committee doesn’t recommend library funding



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, January 22, 2018

A request that has been a standard on the New Ipswich warrant for years failed to gain support from the Budget Committee this year – funds to support the New Ipswich Library.

During this year’s budget hearing, Select Board Chair David Lage referred to the committee’s unanimous vote not to recommend the article as a “slap in the face” to the library, which, while not owned by the town, is widely used by its residents.

The article requests a total of $37,000 for support of the library, the same as last year. 

The past two years, the library request was supported by both the Budget Committee and the Select Board, though in 2016, when the request was $35,000, the Budget Committee vote was split 3-2 in favor of supporting the article. Support was unanimous in 2017.

The Budget Committee defended their stance on the issue, based on the amount currently in the library’s trust – about $700,000.

Lage rebutted that argument, saying the library does use funds generated by the trust for its annual upkeep, but depleting the primary fund, while it may reduce the request in the short run, would eventually lead to the library having no funds at all to pull from.

“I don't have children here, I use the library for the feature of having download capabilities,” said Lage. “But I live across the street, and I can tell you this, that parking lot is packed every single night. And it's not just for the Pizza Haven.”

Library trustees attending the meeting agreed with that assessment, saying that the $37,000 requested from the town isn’t the entirety of the budget, and that the library already does use the interest from its fund to offset that request. The total budget of the library is about $45,000.

The only other article on the warrant not to gain majority Budget Committee support is a request for the use of $10,000 from the Recreation Department’s capital reserve to repair the Memorial Park tennis courts. 

The Budget Committee’s recommendation is printed below the articles on the town warrant, but the ultimate decision on whether or not to approve articles will lie with the voters at the ballot boxes in March. 

Deliberative session for New Ipswich is Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Mascenic Regional High School. Voters are able to amend and finalize articles and the budget at deliberative session. Voting will be held on March 13 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Mascenic Regional High School. 

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.