Oberacker: State library grants to help Edmeston, Richfield, Kinney in Hartwick

Oberacker: State library grants to help Edmeston, Richfield, Kinney in Hartwick

STAFF REPORT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Three Otsego County libraries are among the recipients of about $300,000 in public library construction grant funds from State Senate funds, according to state Sen. Peter Oberacker.

Oberacker, R-Schenevus, announced the awards Friday, Sept. 10.

“Our libraries are vital educational resources while also serving as community gathering places,” Oberacker said. “In many of the towns and villages that I represent, the local library hosts public meetings, delivers key services to residents young and old, and is the most recognizable building in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our local library administrators and volunteers have faced new challenges and developed creative solutions to continue to safely serve the public.”

In Otsego, the money will go to the Edmeston Free Library, the Kinney Memorial Library in Hartwick and the Richfield Springs Public Library.

The grants are from $14 million in capital funds for public library construction and broadband infrastructure projects provided in the 2020-21 state budget. In the 2021-2022 state budget, the legislature provided $34 million for projects that will be announced in summer 2022.

“Libraries are historic landmarks in many cases and technology and accessibility upgrades can be costly. The state construction aid will help as communities make needed improvements to meet new and evolving needs,” Oberacker said.

Public library construction grants help local libraries and library systems to construct new library buildings, create additions to existing structures, update electrical wiring to accommodate computer technology, meet standards of energy efficiency, renovate facilities to provide full accessibility to library users with disabilities, and provide meeting rooms to accommodate community needs. Broadband infrastructure projects are also eligible.

In Edmeston, about $92,500 will go to an ADA compliance project that includes, “compliant bathroom installation, second-floor bathroom renovation and installation of a wheelchair lift servicing two floors.”
In Hartwick, about $9,000 will go to replace part of the asphalt shingle roof.

In Richfield, about $29,000 will go to window replacement that will allow the library to save money on heating and also help preserve the collection.

Other libraries receiving money in the 51st District are in Sidney, Jordanville and Herkimer.

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