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Local libraries receive funding for major renovations

(WBNG) — State Representative Clifford Crouch announced local libraries throughout the Southern Tier will receive thousands of dollars in funding to improve their buildings.

The funding, a $34 million capital fund set aside for public library construction and broadband internet projects, will help the Sidney Memorial Public Library with a new boiler system.

“The boiler system had been through two different floods. In 2011, there was four feet of standing water, and in 2006, there was six feet of standing water. This project will actually help remove the whole old boiler system and old fuel tanks, and they will put in three new energy efficient tanks downstairs,” said Beth Paine, director of the Sidney Memorial Public Library.

According to Paine, when the boiler system would fail, it would cause the library to become too cold, especially in the winter. When it’s too cold, the library cannot open for patrons.

“It ends up where we have to cancel programs that were scheduled, people needed to use the computers, the WiFi, the printing, the faxing,” said Paine.

For the William B. Ogden Free Library of Walton, renovations are necessary for a building that was built in the 1800’s.

“Libraries are central to our communities, they are a gathering space for people to come. When we have a building like this that is old, that goes through the deterioration that old buildings go through, we need to be good stewards of the resources that we have, and upkeep them so that this can be a building that is used for generations to come,” said Heather Johnson, director of the William B. Ogden Free Library.

For State Representative Crouch, it’s an investment for the future.

“They’ll be much more stable. They should be able to save money, it’s a much more efficient boiler than it was 30, 40 years ago. They’ll be able to save money in the long run, so that lessens the hurt on the taxpayers,” said Crouch.


Katie Jones

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