EUGENE, Ore. — In the city of Eugene’s ongoing budget battle, there is a public hearing Tuesday to discuss proposed funding cuts.
A 16-member budget committee has considered a range of ways to cut $3 million in spending for the next fiscal year. In December, it came up with six possible options.
Five of the six options would shut down both branches of the public library–Sheldon and Bethel. The committee says closing them would save the city about $651,000 in the coming fiscal year.
But library advocates say it’s not worth it. “Our branch libraries are in the middle of lower income neighborhoods. They’re around the corner from the high schools, they’re near senior citizen complexes, and they are the outreach to everyone in the community,” said Carol Hildebrand with Friends of Eugene Public Library.
The sixth proposal would keep both branches open and instead make a 2-percent cut across all city departments. That includes departments like public safety, human services and the parks and recreation department.
The budget committee will present the six options Tuesday at Harris Hall, and the public is invited to weigh in or suggest new ideas at 5:30 p.m.