‘More and better space’ should be provided at library
To the Editor:
“We can expand the library without adding taxes.” This was a statement from Lisa Hida, Town Council member, on Sept. 26. That is great news.
Furthermore, she added, “A portion of our bonds are maturing and therefore, the interest payments on that bond are finished. The interest payments on the new bond required to fund the library expansion is projected to be about the same as the interest we are no longer paying.”
That quote, “without adding taxes,” is accurate. I visited New Milford Town Hall to check out this statement. Of course, the town will need to float a new bond to fund the library expansion. But, because some current bonds are maturing, the new bond will closely balance out what the town has been paying for years.
The ballot on Nov. 6 will ask for approval of “up to $6.5 million” for the library expansion. The town ballot is stating “up to $6.5 million” because it is not known exactly how much will be needed until the state approves the grant that the town has requested.
Approval of the request is expected because New Milford is one of only two towns which have yet to upgrade their library.
The expected grant for $1 million will reduce the amount needed to bond the project. That $6.5 million figure will be further reduced because the library has also received $1 million from the library trustees.
So, although the new bond requirement for the project will be less than $6.5 million, the exact bond amount is yet to be determined.
To check on the library’s grant proposal, I called the state’s librarian’s office. I learned that the state has given grants to many libraries, for both major upgrades and for small projects.
New Milford is an excellent candidate for a grant since it has been almost 40 years since the last upgrade to its library.
The library is now busier than ever. Its many uses today are too numerous to mention here. It has adapted to the latest learning methods by making excellent use of the internet’s resources, rather than being replaced by the internet.
Currently, the library space is inadequate and below the state’s guidelines for square footage. More and better space is needed for the children, the youth and the adults. The proposed library expansion will correct these and other issues now facing the library.
The New Milford library has been, and continues to be, a very important part of our community. Vote on Nov. 6 to approve the library expansion.