City of Lincoln
2009 Media Releases
Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that his budget proposal for 2009-2010 will include funding to keep branch libraries and neighborhood pools open. He was joined for the announcement at South Branch Library by Sheridan Elementary student Grace Doll and her friends who protested the closing of the library earlier this year.
"As we celebrate Independence Day, it's important to point out that what these girls did is part of a great American tradition that dates back to our nation's earliest days - when we don't agree with our government, we protest," Mayor Beutler said. "In this age of video games, Grace and her friends reminded this community that reading still matters in their lives. They reminded Lincoln that libraries are the heart and soul of our neighborhoods and communities."
The South and Bethany branch libraries as well as the Ballard, Belmont, Irvingdale and Arnold Heights pools were considered for funding cuts. The Mayor's proposed budget includes $392,730 to keep the two libraries open and $178,753 to keep the pools open.
"No one wanted the libraries or pools to close," Beutler said. "But we are simply not generating enough revenue growth to keep pace with the increased costs of providing services."
Beutler thanked City Council members who worked with him to find the revenue needed to maintain the services. "They share my belief that a great city is more than roads and sewers, more than police and fire," he said. "While those services are extremely important, they do not create community bonds or lift the spirit the way a neighborhood library or pool can."
The Mayor will present his budget to the City Council at 10 a.m. Monday, July 6. The presentation will be carried live on 5 CITY-TV, government access cable channel 5. The City Council votes on tentative changes to the Mayor's budget in July. The public hearing on the budget is scheduled for August 10.