Local Public Libraries Receive State Grants

George Winner

March 21, 2007

Albany, N.Y.-- State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira)said todaythat several public libraries in Chemung and Steuben counties have been awarded state construction grants.

Winner said that the grants are being funded through a $14-million appropriation for public library construction the Legislature included in last year’s state budget.

"A public library is a vital community resource," said Winner. "We’re hopeful that these grants will help local libraries better afford and address their renovation needs."

According to the New York State Library, which administers the grants, a recent survey revealed that more than 40% of the over 1,000 public library buildings across New York State are over 60 years old. Another 30% are more than three decades old.

The construction grants help local libraries and library systems make renovations and upgrades, update electrical wiring to accommodate computer technology, renovate facilities to provide wheelchair accessible entrances and become fully accessible to persons with disabilities, and provide community meeting rooms.

Winner announced the following grants to local libraries in Chemung and Steuben counties:

> Fred & Harriet Taylor Memorial Library in Hammondsport, $20,623 for a new septic system, parking lot, exterior stairs and ramps for accessibility;

> Avoca Free Library, $7,750 for replacement of the library’s heating system;

> Chemung County Library District-Big Flats, $30,800 for a roof replacement;

> Chemung County Library District-West Elmira, $24,400 for a roof replacement; and

> Chemung County Library District-Steele Memorial, $42,500 for replacement of the library’s cooling tower.

The New York State Library plans to release additional grants in the coming months.