Letter to the Editor – Vote “No” on Shrewsbury library expansion
There is a huge library being promoted in Shrewsbury. It is known that paper books are being replaced by digital books and other devices. Borders has closed. That should be proof that paper books are declining in value to the reader.
The Library Committee is proposing a $23 million upgrade which includes a 38,600 foot building reported to be 26 percent larger than Town Hall. It would also demolish the usable $760,000 Credit Union building next door for the expansion.
The library committee has submitted figures citing the increased usages of the library. Are people borrowing books which are the function of a library or are they participating in activities unrelated to books. We are voting on a library, not a community center. Perhaps the doomed building next door could become a community center.
The funding of the monstrous library includes debt exclusion without an explanation of how Proposition 2 1/2 override differs from debt exclusion. Both will increase your property taxes. The major difference is debt exclusion gets paid down, usually over 10 to 20 years, while an override is a permanent addition of a town’s tax levy limit. Except for donations the taxpayers will pay whether we want or will use the proposed library. And probably long after the building has served its purpose.
Why is more space needed. What book related needs are not being met. What is wrong with the present library, if anything, that cannot be fixed. It appears there are sizable spaces available upstairs in the current building complete with an elevator.
The media reports that tight budgets in town mean lower ranking for schools due to class size. That finding could result in more classrooms and more taxes since schools are a priority. The expanded library as presented is not necessary or affordable and will obviously be another taxpayer debt.
Every voter should visit the library to look at the schematic of the proposed library. Seeing is believing. Please help to prevent Shrewsbury’s Folly by exercising your right to vote No to the library expansion on November 5, 2013.
Priscilla J. Ham
Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=41380