LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

The South-Branch Library in La Crosse is trying to stay open despite a deficit in the city budget.

It's up to the city council to decide what cuts can be made to help the library stay open. Right now the city has three libraries with a total annual budget of $5 million, and it's being stretched to the max. One idea the city has come up with to keep the south branch open is merging the IT and HR department with the city.

Members from both the Library Task Force and the library's board held separate meetings Thursday to discuss how their thoughts on merging the departments within the city.

If you're going to close branches you need to make sure you're operating the most efficient possible way and I don't believe that has been done and that's my disappointment, but I hope something does change, said chair of the task force, Andrea Richmond.

The idea is something members from the library are concerned about, but understand they are in fiscal bind.

"We are facing a serious deficit next year again driven in part by the 8.5 % projected increase in medical benefits. Nobody wants to see the branches to close but we are going to have to make some hard decisions if we want to keep all three locations." said Kelly Krieg-Sigman, Director of the library.

The library task force will present more ideas on how to cut the budget July 22.