WHITEFIELD — Service versus savings. That’s the debate in Whitefield these days. The Whitefield Public Library has requested a 98% budget increase in order to add staff, expand hours, boost programming, and meet growing demand. However, under pressure from cash strapped residents, the Select Board countered with a lesser 32 percent increase for the sake of taxpayer relief.Both sides will make their case at the next board meeting. Part-time WPL director Courtney Vashaw said the 180-year-old library has historically been underfunded. Last year Whitefield Public Library accounted for 1.4 percent of the overall municipal budget and received half as much as libraries in surrounding communities. Doubling the library’s budget would have a minimal tax impact (14 cents per $1,000) and would not overburden taxpayers, Vashaw said.
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