Senate Passes Ritchie Bill to Streamline Library Projects, Cut Costs of Construction

Patty Ritchie

March 12, 2018

Bill Allows Libraries to Combine Small Projects for NYS Dormitory Authority Funding

State Senator Patty Ritchie is pleased to announce that on Monday the New York State Senate passed a bill that would help libraries more easily afford smaller construction projects. 
Monday, the state Senate passed a bill sponsored by Senator Ritchie (S3022-A) that allows the New York Library Association to bundle together small bonding projects of less than $5 million per library, and to jointly submit them to the New York State Dormitory Authority for financing. By pooling the loans together, the Dormitory Authority could spread out the fixed financing cost of one loan, rather than having each library pay the full amount.
Library use across New York State is increasing, yet nearly half our libraries are over 60 years old. This is especially true in rural communities.
“Libraries continue to be our most trusted source of information, but most are in need of basic upgrades, as well as construction to make them more energy efficient, handicap accessible and able to support changing and growing demands for technology,” Said Senator Ritchie, who is in her 2nd year as the Senate’s Library Committee Chair.
“Allowing our libraries the opportunity to partner in construction projects, allows them to afford to make the changes needed to continue to serve our communities in the best way possible.”
In addition to low-cost financing, libraries would also benefit from the construction expertise available through the NYS Dormitory Authority’s construction service.
In last year’s state budget, Senator Ritchie was able to help deliver $94 million in funding for libraries, with an additional $24 million for library capital projects.  She is working to restore cuts proposed in this year’s Executive Budget.
This bill has been delivered to the Assembly.