Ranzenhofer announces construction grant awards for City, Town of Tonawanda public libraries


New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced that public libraries in the City and Town of Tonawanda will receive funding from the Public Library Construction Grant Program.

The City of Tonawanda Public Library will receive $15,278 for water and energy conservation for three restrooms, improvements to patron access areas with lighting upgrades and more efficient plumbing and electrical fixtures.  The Kenmore Branch of the Town of Tonawanda Public Library will receive $76,805 for a new children’s area, new public computer space with electrical upgrades and ADA access to public service at circulation and computer distribution points.

“These grants will serve as a reinvestment in our local libraries in the City and Town of Tonawanda and will ultimately enhance and improve the valuable services provided by our local libraries for both existing patrons and for future generations to come,” said Senator Ranzenhofer.

The grant funds are from $14 million in capital funds for public library construction provided in the 2010 State Budget.  Grants can pay up to a maximum of fifty percent of total eligible project costs and libraries must provide funds to pay for the remaining costs of the project. 

New York’s public libraries are in need of renovation and upgrading.  A recent survey showed a documented need for public library construction and renovation projects totaling more than $2.5 billion. More than forty percent of the public library buildings in communities across New York are over sixty years old.  Many of New York’s local public libraries are unable to accommodate users with disabilities, are energy inefficient, cannot provide internet and computer and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring. 

Project activities and expenditures eligible for grants from the $14 million Public Library Construction Grant Program include the renovation and/or rehabilitation of existing space, including roof replacement, purchase and installation of alternative energy resources and new HVAC systems, windows, doors, and lighting systems, electrical upgrades, and construction of new or replacement of old walkways and parking lots.