Submitted by Maureen Ambrosino
Westborough Public Library Public Director
Westborough – The Library Building Committee and Trustees were notified last week that due to changes at the state level, we will not be receiving our construction grant funds for at least another three years. As you may be aware, we were awarded approximately $9.4 million last summer from our state agency, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, for our renovation/expansion project, but were placed on a prioritized list for funds. The grants for library construction are funded from a $150 million bond bill that was passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Patrick in 2014. Each year, a certain number of projects are funded, but the Board of Library Commissioners expects to spend the remaining funds from that bond bill before we get to the top of the list. They will be seeking a new bond bill to fund our project and many others that are waiting for funds.
The money we were seeking at the March 17 Town Meeting would have helped us refine the design of the building, get additional public input, and do another round of cost estimating. We are asking to pass over at this time, since it is premature to do this work now if our funds won’t be available from the state for three years. We will be back at a future Town Meeting to move the project forward, but in order to be good stewards of the town’s resources, we will be making a motion to “pass over,” or take no action on this item, at the March 17, 2018 Town Meeting.