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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 of the Park Street library was announced on Thursday by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

According to 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 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."

Christine Iacobucci July 14, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Congratulations to Pat Basler and all the dedicated individuals whose hard work made this possible!
JO July 15, 2011 at 07:11 PM
Seems like an awful lot of money that could be used elsewhere - like education. How many people actually frequent the library?
lowertaxes July 15, 2011 at 07:25 PM
Couldn't agree with you more JO, Libraries are becoming more outdated everyday. Stoughton has many more important things that could get the money.
Fiscal Conservative July 15, 2011 at 08:43 PM
Lowertaxes, why don't you utilize the Library then? Its there for your use. I bet it offers many things you & your family could utilize. Other than books & bet you could gets Videos, CD's, DVD's, etc. Use it and find out!!!
Jim July 17, 2011 at 08:39 PM
I think that the current building should be renovated and updated, but on a smaller scale than is being planned here. I also hope that whatever is done, that the large flowering trees that line Park Street in front of the building are preserved. One thing Stoughton, especially the center doesn't need, is more concrete and ugly treeless areas!

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