$90,000 Needed To Save Florence Library

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

Pete Festersen, City Councilman for District 1 in Omaha, estimates it will take $90,000 to keep the Florence Library open for the rest of this year. The library is currently set to close Sept. 6 due to budget cuts.

Festersen, along with other city and state officials, listened to the concerns of Florence residents Thursday.

Taxpayers came forward with several ideas to keep the library open, including forgoing renovations and using a volunteer staff.

But many, like Sherry Grayson, wanted to know why the Florence community was the target of budget cuts.

"We will fight to keep this library open, no matter what," Grayson said. "We will not be made the scapegoat of opening new West Omaha libraries."

Wednesday, Festersen and four other City Council members proposed two-week furloughs for all city employees. He says the savings could save the library.

Mayor Jim Suttle prefers a wage freeze instead, Festersen says the city could use a combination.

"We would encourage him to consider both at the bargaining table," Festersen said. "It does need to be negotiated and it does need to be negotiated with the Mayor's office, so we're hoping that's something he will consider given the fact that five City Council people are interested in that."

The Florence community is planning another support rally for the library on Aug. 28.

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