WINDHAM — Town councilors will have a final opportunity to make adjustments to the 2011-2012 budget Thursday night before voting on whether to approve it.

A public hearing Tuesday night on the $14 million proposed budget drew comment from a half-dozen residents, who asked for more cuts in some areas and pleaded to retain funding in others.

Priscilla Payne said she was disappointed to hear that the council was considering cutting hours for part-time library workers. In a small community and in difficult economic times, she said, “library services are desperately needed.”

The Finance Committee last week recommended reducing staff hours to save $20,000. The cut would force the library to close at 1 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Donna Chapman also opposed reducing library funding and suggested that the council instead eliminate Windham’s economic development department.

“There’s other areas you can cut the budget other than the necessities,” she said.

Bruce Elder said proposed raises for town employees should be eliminated. A 2 percent cost-of-living increase and step increases for non-union employees, whose salaries have been frozen for two years, would cost $72,000.

Elder told the council that most taxpayers, including retirees and struggling small-business owners, wouldn’t get raises this year or likely anytime soon.

“I’m just wondering where the money’s going to come from,” he said.

Carol Waig spoke against taking money from another group in need — families who can’t afford summer camp for their children.

The Finance Committee recommended eliminating $10,250 for scholarships to the camp run by the town’s recreation department.

“When that’s taken away, that can be an undue hardship,” Waig said.

The proposed municipal budget would not raise taxes in Windham, though Regional School District 14’s proposed $38 million budget would.

The Town Council will vote on the municipal budget at a meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Windham Town Hall. Residents will vote on the budget at the June 18 town meeting.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at: [email protected]