Fredonia slashes library, flowers

More deep cuts were on the agenda for the Fredonia budget workshop, with Dar-win R. Barker Library taking one of the deepest cuts.

The board met with Streets Supervisor Jack Boland Wednesday to go over the streets department budget including recreation, highway and parts of the sewer and water departments the streets department helps with.

Many recreation and culture items were slated for deep cuts.

One of the deepest of these was for the Barker Library.

“What are they using the money for when they also get money from the town and the village owns and maintains the building and they don’t pay rent?” Trustee Phyllis Jones asked.

In the 2013-2014 budget, Fredonia appropriated $105,000 to the library.

She also said the Barker Library is the only library in the Chautauqua-Cattarau-gus Library System not to fundraise.

“We are in a pinch, they may have to help us out this year,” Trustee Mark Ruckman said, adding he thought the village could take all funding to the library, although it would upset some people.

Trustee Susan McKay said the library may not be able to continue operating if the village cut all of its funding and recommended cutting $55,000.

Trustee Joe Cerrie said he thought that was fair since the board cut between 50 and 75 percent from other line items.

The board agreed to fund the library at $50,000 in 2014-2015, but consider further cuts in the next year’s budget.

The board also cut FestivalsFredonia from $2,000 to $500, skating at SUNY Fredonia from $3,700 to $1,700, concerts in the park from $4,500 to $2,500 and the picnic from $3,000 to $1,000. The board decided to keep the $475 it pays for the Karate Connection program instead of charging in order to keep its recreation funding from the county, which prohibits charging fees.

It was also noted that $9,000 was saved by shortening the recreation program by two weeks.

It was also decided the $4,200 the village pays for hanging flower baskets along the streets and the lift rental would be eliminated. Some funding for putting up flags and holiday lights was maintained.

The board made several other small cuts to the highway budget, based on previous spending patterns.

The board discussed cutting personnel from the streets department. The original proposal was to cut two full-time positions and six seasonal positions at a savings of $96,000, one full-time position and the seasonal workers or just the seasonal workers at a savings of $64,000.

It was noted the village employs 60 full-time employees as well as part-time and seasonal workers.

No final decision was made on this and the board entered into executive session for personnel discussions at the end of the workshop.

The board will continue to work on the budget and will hold its regular meeting April 7.