May 23, 2016

Mayor restores additional cut to Hartford libraries

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Funding has been restored to the Hartford Public Library budget to avoid branch closures.

The Hartford Public Library won't face $393,000 in additional budget cuts in the coming fiscal year after Mayor Luke Bronin used a line-item veto restore funding.

Bronin announced his veto Friday, following the city council reducing his originally proposed budget by approximately $5 million, including the cuts to the library, which already faces a $354,000 cut under Bronin's budget.

Instead, Bronin chose to make cuts to other parts of the 2016-2017 city budget, including $100,000 from the Hartford Arts and Heritage Job Grants program; $50,000 from the special events budget to cover the cost of police and other services for special events and parades; $35,000 from the CT Coalition on Environmental Justice; and $22,000 from the Hartford Pro-Am Basketball Tournament.

Bronin said in a letter to the council that the potential closing of three library branches would damage what he termed one of Hartford's most important educational institutions. The revised budget for the library in the coming fiscal year is $7.9 million, down from $8.2 million this year.

Total spending in the city for 2016-2017, including education, is now budgeted at $552.8 million.

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