SAGINAW (WJRT) -
(05/28/14) - Changes are on the way to Saginaw Public Libraries.
Despite a 1.3 millage renewal approved by voters in November, administrators say cuts and reductions must happen.
Those cuts will mostly come in the form of jobs and hours of service.
All five libraries will be affected.
At this point, 19 jobs could be on the line, but that number might change by the time the final decisions are made.
Library Director Trish Burns says the decisions have been difficult, but there just is not enough money coming in. She says the Saginaw County's population and property values have been dropping over the past decade, and at some branches, foot traffic is also low.
The branch that might see the most change is Claytor.
The number of items being checked out at that location has dropped considerably over the past few years.
Library administrators are working on ways to keep it open, but they haven't come up with a solid plan.
We're told the millege that passed in November did help. It softened the economic blow the libraries are facing right now.
"We were going to have to make cuts all along because of the fact that the millage just does not make as much money as it used to, so we knew we were going to have to make some changes, and if the renewal had not passed, it would have doubled the amount of money that we would have had to have taken out of the budget. While it's a difficult thing now, it could have been much much worse," Burns said.
A notice of all the changes is expected to be in place by August.