Greenfield City Council tables library feasibility study funding indefinitely

  • The financial order from former Mayor William Martin to fund a $150,000 feasibility study for the Greenfield Public Library was tabled indefinitely by the City Council on Wednesday. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 1/19/2020 4:48:58 PM
Modified: 1/19/2020 4:47:59 PM

GREENFIELD — At the recommendation of Mayor Roxann Wedegartner, the financial order from former Mayor William Martin to fund a $150,000 feasibility study for the Greenfield Public Library was tabled indefinitely by the City Council on Wednesday.

In a vote of nine in favor, one opposed and two abstentions, the council voted to table the item indefinitely, meaning it will not be listed on the council’s agenda until otherwise requested. Precinct 3 Councilor Virginia “Ginny” DeSorgher was opposed, and At-Large Councilors Christine Forgey and Philip Elmer abstained. President Ashli Stempel did not vote.

The financial order requested $150,000 to “study to identify and estimate the costs of ADA and building code requirements of the Greenfield Public Library.” Subject to two executive orders from the previous mayor’s office, the library’s use has been restricted since fall due to safety and accessibility concerns.

Wedegartner spoke to the feasibility study in her first communications to the City Council.

“I want you to know that is by no means urgent. I have already a great deal of information about what needs to be done in that building in order to make it fully usable,” Wedegartner said. “We’re working on prioritizing that list because it is still open as a library and will continue to be until the new one is built.”

She told the council she may come back to ask for funding in the future after the new $19.5 million library — which was approved by voters in November — is complete and the city is tasked with considering what to do with the current library.

“We have no need to spend that kind of money at this time,” she concluded.

City Council Vice President Otis Wheeler said the order received a unanimous negative recommendation from the Ways and Means Committee, which he chairs.

“As you heard, the mayor said there’s not necessarily a need to do this now,” Wheeler said. “In fact, the feasibility study might not be applicable if it were sold to a private entity.”

Reach Melina Bourdeau at mbourdeau@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 263.




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