BINGHAMTON, NY – (WIVT/WBGH) Good news for regional libraries as $34 million of state capital funding is being designated for construction and broadband infrastructure improvements.
Of that $34 million, Senate District 52, which includes Broome, Tompkins and Cortland Counties, is receiving nearly $900,000. State Senator Lea Webb broke down the allocation earlier this morning outside the George F. Johnson Memorial Library in Endicott.
The Memorial Library in Endicott is receiving over $27,000 to transform space on the main floor into a new community meeting room, which was recently completed. The Broome County Public Library in Binghamton is receiving over $157,000 for the development of a new security office, a new youth services desk, and to replace the front entrance doors.
Senator Webb says that it is investments like these, that allow libraries to grow and offer more resources to the most vulnerable.
“We often are operating with this do more with less, the problem with that, is that when you actually do make investments, they’re always just kind of dropped in, but they never remedy the years of under investment. So, you’re always in this kind of catch-up mode. That’s why I keep emphasizing, that as a state, we have to be more consistent,” said Webb.
Cortland Free Library is receiving over $601,000 to expand an elevator, reconfigure the main reading room, install new HVAC systems such as air conditioning, and adding outdoor signage. The Mary Wilcox Memorial Library in Whitney Point is also receiving over $110,000 to finish phases two and three of its addition onto the building, and the Breezeway project.
The funding is provided through the State Aid for Library Construction Program in this year’s state budget. Several of the development projects are already underway, and the state will decide next year’s round of library funding by April 1st.