Ottawa (December 2, 2008) - The Ottawa Public Library has voted to defer $650,000 of their 2009 budget requests in a move to help relieve some of the City’s budget pressures.
At a special meeting called by the OPL board chair Councillor Jan Harder, the board reviewed the $1.35 million of OPL budget pressures submitted to the City in October for consideration. The board was informed that over $300,000 of these pressures have been suggested for deferral. These include:
- $25,000 for teen and children’s services
- $145,000 for expanded hours
- $40,000 for rural service programs
- $95,000 for additional staff training
The board further approved a reduction of $345,000 for cost of living adjustments.
The OPL’s overall net operating budget in 2008 was $32.5 million.
“No one on the library board wants to cut library services,” said Chair Harder. “Although we are moving to implement our four-year strategic plan, we met our $260,000 efficiency target for 2008 and have a plan to meet our $618,000 target for 2009. Board members do recognize, however, that the City is facing enormous financial challenges. We’ve decided to defer some of our requests this year. The budget we’ve put forward will enable us to maintain our current level of library services.”
City Council has begun hearing public delegations concerning the 2009 budget today and will continue until Thursday. Council will then begin to discuss and debate the budget until it is approved.