Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) today announced that for the second straight year applications are available for $14 million in library construction funding. The Library Construction Grant Programs provide capital funds to libraries for the use in site acquisition, construction, renovation or rehabilitation of existing buildings. The $14 million allocation for next year is independent of and in addition to the annual appropriation of $800,000 included in the state budget for local services.
“Libraries are an essential resource to our communities, and we need to ensure they continue to meet the needs of our residents,” said Fitzpatrick. “Local libraries in need of an upgrade should take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.”
The grant program period extends from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2010. The construction grants can fund up to 50 percent of the total cost of a construction project. The minimum grant award is $2,500 for a $5,000 project, the minimum total cost of an eligible project. Libraries that received a construction grant in 2006-2007 may apply again for 2007-2008 funding, but not for the same project. In addition, while projects that are not completed at the time of application are eligible, only expenditures after July 1, 2007 are eligible for state funds awarded as part of the grant. Libraries may use local, state, or federal public funds, private funds or a combination of funds from any of those sources for the required match.
Eligible projects include site acquisition, and construction, renovation or rehabilitation of existing buildings. Routine maintenance is not eligible for funding. Libraries with multiple buildings may submit one application per building, and approved projects must start within 180 days of approval.
The allocation of $14 million in capital funds toward public library construction grants was provided to renovate and upgrade weakening infrastructure found throughout the state’s public libraries. A recent survey determined there is $1.7 billion in construction and renovation projects currently needed throughout the state. Many of New York’s local public libraries are not handicapped accessible, lack the space to accommodate the library’s collections, and utilize outdated technology.
Libraries seeking further information concerning the grant programs can contact Assemblyman Fitzpatrick’s district office directly, or download application materials from the State Library website at www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/construc/index.html.