Job Cuts, Closures Coming For Aurora Libraries

Voters Reject Measure 4A To Save Libraries With Property Tax Funds

More than half of Aurora's libraries are now on the chopping block and 40 employees will likely lose their jobs.

Voters rejected a ballot measure Tuesday that would have generated money from property taxes to keep them open.

The election results have not been certified yet, but as of Wednesday afternoon, the measure was losing 54 percent to 46 percent.

Aurora has an $8 million budget shortfall for 2010 and will close four of its seven libraries.

The affected branches will be Mission Viejo, Hoffman Heights, Iliff Square, and Chambers Plaza. The Tallyn's Reach, Central, and Martin Luther King, Jr. branches will stay open.

"The three libraries that were chosen to remain open provide us with a library in the north, a library in the central part of the city, and a library in the south," said Jason Batchelor, budget officer for the City of Aurora.

Batchelor said the city had to choose between spending money on libraries or public safety. There is no exact date when the libraries will close, but the city expects to make a decision in about a month.

"It's kind of sad that the library's gonna be closed and now I'm going to have to go someplace else," said library user Sharon Kimbrough. She is a weekly visitor to the Mission Viejo branch. Recently, she's been using the library computers to look for a job.

Library users who supported the ballot measure said it's a tough loss.

"It's an important thing in the community so libraries should stay open," said Mission Viejo patron Reginald Creasy.

Aurora said it will save $3.5 million by closing the libraries. It said it will hold onto the library buildings and may be able to reopen them sometime in the future.

All of the books and other library materials will be transferred to the remaining branches.

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