PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – The Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library has cut its hours of operation and eliminated two part-time positions, citing "budget constraints." Effective Friday, the library will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, four hours earlier, and noon on Saturdays.
"We just didn't have the money in the budget to pay for keeping it open as long as we had," library board President Roger Herman said.
When the village board passed the 2012-13 budget on April 30, the trustees allowed no increase in the library's budget. The library, which received a 2.7 percent increase from the Village of Rye Brook, was asking for a match from Port Chester.
At the meeting several members of the library Board of Trustees and staff spoke out in opposition to the freeze and warned that "big cuts" were coming.
"The entire board did this very reluctantly, but we didn't see any options," Herman said. "We didn’t want to cut back on materials, so the hours were the only options. We’re hoping not to inconvenience people too much. Another option would only be open five days a week, but we didn’t want to do that."
Library Executive Director Robin Lettieri echoed Herman and said she was frustrated and disappointed about the cuts.
Herman added that there is still hope that funding could come from $60,000 that the Port Chester village board placed in contingency.
"There is still the possibility of receiving more funds from the public, that’s still a possibility," Herman said.