2018-07-19 / News

Library presents $2.4M upgrade plan

The library board of trustees updated the town council Monday night on the renovation plan for its North Road facility, presenting a preliminary $2.4 million estimate that would require $1.3 million in taxpayer dollars.

That share, however, would be heavily financed through a $1 million bond referendum on the November ballot. The public money primarily would pay for maintenance work. Upgrades and expansion would be financed through $1.1 million in private fundraising, according to Paul Housberg, a trustee.

“This is a snapshot of where we are now,” Housberg said. “It’s an estimate, not a quote.”

The trustees also are hoping for nearly $1 million in reimbursements from the state, as well as grants from private organizations, including the Champlin Foundation. This money, however, is not set in stone because Champlin will not accept applications until the spring. Also, the Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services told the trustees not to submit an application yet because the agency is working through changes. The state is considering upping the reimbursement from $175 per square foot to $250.

“It’s hard to pinpoint a number right now because we’re in a state of flux,” said Mary Lou Sanborn, chairwoman of the trustees.

If fundraising, grants and reimbursement surpass expectations, the trustees have penciled in another $1.1 million in renovations to expand the building, which would bring the total to $3.5 million.

— Tim Riel

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