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Budget changes could come to Cheektowaga libraries after the purchase of massage chairs for staff

Posted at 5:57 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 17:57:28-04

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Glenn Luba, Director of the Cheektowaga Public Library System is not happy about the 2020 tentative budget.

"There was no advanced notice, warning, talk even, of any sort," he said.

The Town of Cheektowaga preliminary budget for next year proposes a nearly $30,000 cut for the libraries. This year's budget was $80,823 compared to the proposed $51,163 for 2020.

Town Supervisor Diane Benczkowski said she made the budget recommendation after finding what she thinks are questionable library expenses, like five massage chairs for staff.

"Town law states that any municipal funding, which is funded through the taxpayers goes towards the taxpayers," she said."It was inappropriate for them just to have them in the break room."

But Luba said the chairs were bought to replace furniture that was in disrepair, and they didn't cost any more than regular chairs.

Supervisor Benczkowski said four of the chairs cost $1,000 plus a five-year warranty protection of $127. The fifth chair was $229 plus a $31 warranty protection.

Luba also said the proposed budget will affect operating hours and part time staff.

But Supervisor Benczkowski doesn't buy it.

"They don't have to do it that way, no. If they're going to take budget money form the town of Cheektowaga, they will be keeping those libraries open. They're not going to be cutting hours," she said.

A budget hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Cheektowaga town hall.