It didn’t take long Wednesday night for the Stonington Board of Finance to begin cutting proposed budgets and funding to the was one of the first things reduced.
Funding to the Mystic & Noank Library, which serves both Stonington and Groton residents feel Stonington doesn’t do its fair share to fund the library, and some Stonington residents feel the town should not give as much money as it does to a library outside the town’s boarders.
, proposed $85,000 in funding to the Mystic & Noank, a $20,000 increase from the 2011-2012 fiscal year. The board decided to reduce that by $15,000 funding the library at $70,000 while giving an additional $5,000 in funding to the .
“The Stonington Free Library is the only library within the town,” Chairman Glenn Frishman said.
The Stonington Free Library currently receives $115,000 from the town. Haberek’s proposed budget called for funding at $120,000 and the increase from the board brings that to $125,000.
“We level funded them last year, this year we did it by the statistics,” Haberek said.
The had requested level funding at its current level of $86,810 for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
“We have probably the worst spending on libraries in any town in southeastern Connecticut,” board member John O’Brien said. “I think we ought to do more for them.”
The Mystic & Noank Library, however, wasn’t the only outside agency to see their proposed budget cut.
Haberek’s proposed budget called for funding the three ambulance services, , Westerly Ambulance and , that serve the town at an additional $20,000 each from the 2011-2012 year. The board decided to give them each an additional $10,000 bringing them each to $25,000. That means the ambulanceservices will be back at the level of funding they received in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.
By the end of its first budget deliberation meeting the board reduced the 2012-2013 proposed budget from a 16.46 mill rate to a 16.34 mill rate. The police department and highway department also saw cuts to their proposed budgets.
Budget deliberations continue next week on Wednesday, March 28. The board said they would like to bring the voters at most a 0.5 mill rate increase. which means they will have to cut roughly $656,000 more from the and .