WATERTOWN, NY — Mayor candidate Allison C. Crossman released the following statement on Thursday, Sept. 12:
The Flower Memorial Library is a historic gem and one of our community’s most valuable resources. Not only does it provide a beautiful venue in our Downtown Watertown, but also materials and technology that are vital educational tools for many families. In addition, it hosts numerous free programs that satisfy the interests of all ages. Many families throughout the City and region, including mine, utilize this on a regular basis.
The City of Watertown has provided funding to the library for capital improvement projects and maintenance, but has continually decreased funding for new materials which are necessary for the continued success of our library. Although the decision has been made to reduce some of our City’s contributions due to budget constraints, it causes a deficiency in the offerings that the library can provide our community. The Friends of the Library have made a commendable fundraising effort in order to fill in the gaps in the past through private sector donations, but now I believe it’s time for the City to step up.
As the owner of this magnificent structure, I believe it is the City of Watertown’s responsibility to sustain this asset. We should not be burdening the taxpayers with an additional niche tax to fund a resource to which we are already committed. I would strongly urge the City Council to reconsider their position and agree to provide an additional $75,000 annually to the Flower Memorial Library.