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Can Denver Save Its Libraries From the Budget Ax?

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Hickenlooper, John 2Now that Denver police have agreed to delay their pay raises until 2011, helping the city save nearly $10 million, writes The Associated Press, Denver officials are looking for more ways to close the looming $160 million deficit. While Mayor John Hickenlooper has sent a budget to the city council that could result in furloughs, layoffs, and service cuts, members are trying to find new sources of revenue and less draconian cuts to close the gap. For instance, the council is exploring whether a federal police grant could offset spending to the tune of $1.7 million. The council is also considering trimming security screenings at the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building to save $850,000, reports The Denver Post. Members of the council also want at least $3.4 million of Hickenlooper’s proposed cuts reversed, with an emphasis on restoring library hours and halting the sale of the west side’s Byers Library. Hickenlooper (pictured) has until Thursday to revise his vision for the budget. After that, it’s fully in the hands of council, which may amend his final budget with a seven-person majority vote of its 13 members. The mayor can veto any amendments, but the council can override his veto with the support of nine members.

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