NEWS

Budget committee under pressure to stave off cuts

01/09/2012 02:18 EST | Updated 03/10/2012 05:12 EST

The City of Toronto’s budget committee supports chopping the library board budget by 10 per cent.

The budget committee is in the midst of putting the final touches on the city’s 2012 budget, though its members are still under pressure to limit cuts to popular programs.

During a lengthy meeting on Monday, the budget committee supported additional cuts for the library, which had previously spent months trying to pare down its budget.

Budget chief Mike Del Grande demanded that the library board find an additional $6.9 million in savings, to reach the 10 per cent mark.

"I'm not going to hold up the budget for them," he said. "The number's going to be given to them and that's their job to figure it out."

Coun. Janet Davis said the cuts being demanded will force the library to reduce hours of operation and will have deep impacts on service.

“The library board has looked at this now four times,” said Davis, who is a member of the library board.

“And the mayor’s own hand-appointed library board has chosen not to cut hours and collections.”

CBC’s Jamie Strashin reported that city councillors will have the final say on what happens to the library budget.

“Since there’s not really enough time for the library board to meet again, this decision will go directly to Council and it will be up to city councillors to make a decision on this,” Strashin reported Monday.

Council votes on the final 2012 budget next week.

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