By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Region – Three local libraries – Grafton, Marlborough and Westborough – have been approved to go onto a waitlist for renovation funds granted through a state program overseen by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).
Nine Massachusetts communities – Dartmouth, Hadley, Kingston, Medford, Norwell, Springfield, Sutton, Wayland and Weymouth – received grants that will allow them to proceed with construction for 2017-2018.
Twenty-four other communities, including Grafton, Marlborough and Westborough, have been placed on a waitlist and will receive grants as funding becomes available, either through the existing bond bill or a future bond authorization. Marlborough is number four on the list; Westborough is 11th and Grafton is 16th.
The average grant award is 45-50 percent, of the eligible costs with the remaining cost incurred by the municipality, according to the MBLC.
During the next six months, grant recipients will work with their communities to secure the local match funding necessary to accept their grants.
MPLCP library building projects are currently underway in Hopkinton, Leicester, Scituate, Sherborn, Stoughton, and Woburn. Communities with recently completed projects include Eastham, Edgartown, Framingham, Reading, Shrewsbury, and West Springfield.
Funding for the MPLCP is authorized by the governor and the legislature. Funding for this grant round is part of the general governmental needs bond bill filed in March, 2013 which included $150 million for the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program. This funding was also used to award construction grants to 11 communities that had been on a waitlist for several years and will be used to support a future Planning and Design grant round.
The MPLCP was first funded in 1987. Since then, the program has assisted hundreds of communities in building new libraries or in renovating and expanding existing libraries. For more information about the program, visit mblc.state.ma.us.