Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) today announced two area libraries will receive a combined $76,000 in public library construction funds as part of a one-time allocation of $14 million in capital funds provided by the New York State Legislature in the 2006-2007 State Budget.
The Haxton Memorial Library in Oakfield is slated to receive a little more than $70,000 for a roof replacement, while Byron-Bergen Public Library in Bergen will receive nearly $6,000 for the creation of a handicap accessible entryway.
“Public libraries across the state are in dire need of renovation,” said Hawley. “I am pleased these two local libraries have received some much-needed dollars, and I will continue to push for funding for other facilities that face difficult financial circumstances.”
A recent survey showed a documented need for public library construction and renovation projects totaling $1.7 billion. Of the more than 1,000 public libraries across New York state, more than 40% are over 60 years old. Another 30% are more than three decades old.
Public library construction grants help local libraries to update electrical wiring to accommodate computer technology, renovate facilities to provide wheelchair accessible entrances and lavatories, and provide meeting rooms to accommodate public needs.
“Libraries are an important resource for our children and their education,” said Hawley. “They provide a vital public benefit and we cannot let these pillars of our community go by the wayside.”
More public library construction grant recipients will be announced in the coming months.