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Act now or lose largest grant ever for library


Saturday, December 08, 2018
Act now or lose largest grant ever for library

About four months ago, the Greenfield Public Library Board was notified that the library had been awarded a $9.4 million grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to pay for almost half the costs of constructing a new Greenfield Public Library.

These were competitive grants. The offer of millions in state aid is contingent on acceptance of the library project by our City Council. I was a member of the City Council from 2006-2011, so I know the quandary of taxes vs. community needs. I understand our municipal budget, and I understand grants. 

I also knew we needed a new library facility even then. The problem is not going away. This money will not be deposited away for us to be used for some other project some other day. Luckily, this is also a sound financial project, which allows the city to stay within the guidelines of proper debt percentage for a grade A bond rating. We need to move forward now, or lose the largest grant we have ever been offered to upgrade our library.

It’s unwise to continue to spend money to bandage the existing building, because it will never meet the needs of a 21st century library. The cost for a new building will only continue to rise. Our commonwealth has given us a match to move forward now. Let’s seize the opportunity to cross off a new library from our ‘to do’ list...for our children and their children.

I believe this is by far the best financial deal we will ever get to enhance this important city facility.  I urge the City Council to vote yes. 

Danielle Letourneau-Therrien

Greenfield