By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
Town Council approved thousands in Free Cash transfers to restore the library budget, allowing for its accreditation to continue.
Following a brief discussion, the council voted 9-0 to transfer $64,000 from Free Cash to the budget of the Richards Memorial Library. In the early days of the pandemic, all town departments—including the library—turned back money from their budgets in an attempt to offset potential future deficits caused by COVID-19. Approximately $3 million was turned back from all departments.
In the case of the library, its turnback of $50,000 meant that the library’s accreditation from the Massachusetts Libraries Board of Library Commissioners would be in jeopardy, due to the amount removed from the budget. Should this happen, the library would lose its inter-loan library privileges, among other benefits. Town Manager Michael Borg said that a waiver request has been submitted, but these are not guaranteed.
“Their accreditation is in jeopardy at this point,” said Borg at the Dec. 14 meeting.
Town Council member Joann Cathcart said this has happened before, and she supported the transfer.
“We need to approve this,” she said.
In addition to this, the council approved a transfer to allow the Department of Public Works backhoe that had been destroyed in a fire. The DPW had received an insurance settlement for the lost vehicle, but is wasn’t enough cover a new one. A third request was for $28,000 for a new payroll system, to replace the antiquated one currently being used. Borg added that there would be an annual cost of $48,000 to c