Stoughton Will Get Library Grant, But Just Not Sure When
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners announced their decision on Thursday as to which libraries in the state will receive state funding for proposed building projects.
A decision on whether or not Stoughton will receive state funding for the proposed renovation of the Park Street library was announced on Thursday by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
According to Stoughton Public Library Director Pat Basler, the Commissioners asked the town to send in revisions of the design by January 19, 2012.
"There were some concerns about the internal layout of the building, particularly the balcony layout. We need to address these concerns on a new architectual rendering, and then we'll be in line for the funding," Basler told About Town.
Although a bit disappointed that Stoughton wasn't in the first tier for immediate funding, Basler said that the locations chosen had something in common--most were small towns with limited budgets, and older library buildings.
Basler said the Commissioners told her, "It's not a matter of if, but when."
Basler says that the chances are good that the town will land the funds in 2013 or 2014.
Meanwhile, after the Library Building Committee looks at the Commissioner's review of the design, they'll make the suggested revisions with the architect on the project. So, it may not have been great news, but for the long-term it was good news.
In May, Stoughton’s Annual Town Meeting overwhelmingly approved a $14 million dollar renovation that will almost double the size of Stoughton Public Library.
That decision made the town eligible for state funds, which could cover as much as half of the total cost. In fact, if Stoughton does not obtain the grant, then the library renovation will not take place, according to the wording of the motion passed at ATM.
The Library Commissioners could have denied the application, but did not. It looks as though they will approve the revised application and place Stoughton on the waiting list for eventual funding.
Basler had said that the competition for these funds opens up every four years or so. Of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, 31 applied in this round.
Selectman Chairman John Stagnone, had mixed feelings, "It would be nice if they get the grant. But, I have my concerns, which I mentioned at town meeting. Members voted for it, however. I don't think it's the right location, and I think it's too big for the lot and there's not enough parking. But, a lot of work was put into the plan, designs, and presentation, and if they get the grant we'll work with them."
Stagnone added, "I'd like to see town buildings brought to town meeting through the Board of Selectmen, however."