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Tompkins County Public Library facing budget challenges

Facing an estimated $400,000 budget deficit next year, the Tompkins County Public Library is at risk of going deeper into debt.

The county legislature recently adopted a short-term financial strategy that involves tapping into its reserve funds to close the remaining budget gap.

In adopting a short-term financial strategy at the most recent meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature, county lawmakers have elected to tap into reserve funds for the next several years before coming up with a long-term fiscal solution to the problem.

“We fully understand that what we’re doing at this point is not a long-term solution. That’s something that’s going to take more time to work on,” said legislator Pat Pryor, who helped craft the financial plan.

Pryor says county lawmakers will meet with Cornell and city officials to see if they will be willing to increase their contribution. Lawmakers say that the library has a revenue problem rather than a spending problem.

Pryor says she’s unsure where the county can generate new sources of revenue for the library.

The library has reduced 15 percent of its staff over the past four years.

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