When asked about funding of the Milford Library during a recent press conference about the 2013-2014 City of Milford budget, Mayor Ben Blake said, "I've always believed that you should judge a town or municipality based on its library."
Milford Library Director Jean Tsang noted that the increase in the library's budget is due "to contractual raises."
"Employees are now paying a cost share for benefits and social security take out has gone back to previous rates," Tsang said, "so it really is not a significant raise."
Tsang was sympathic to the tough decisions that Mayor Blake needs to make in compromising his budget recommendations.
"I would never want to have the budgetary responsibilities that the Mayor, Board of Aldermen, and Board of Finance have," Tsang said. "We all face a rising cost of living at home, but in a municipality it’s exponential. It’s difficult to maintain the level of service that our taxpayers are used to and yet keep taxes in check."
"The library was given a real boost last spring," Tsang added. "The Mayor and the Board of Aldermen passed a resolution to give the library back its fines and fees. This has given us the funding to purchase eBooks and to enhance our downloadable audio book collection."
"Without this additional funding," Tsang said, "we could never have afforded these added services."
Mayor Blake noted that the resolution giving the Library back its fines and fees will be permanent and continue in 2013-2014.