We all agree that library patrons around NYS should have access to outstanding services, materials, and programming in buildings worthy of the mission they serve. But library infrastructure around the state is aging – half of our state’s libraries are more than 60 years old, and another third are more than 30 years old. Many libraries need to undertake basic capital projects, such as roof replacement, HVAC upgrades, and accessibility renovations. Others seek to invest in energy-efficiency projects. Unfortunately, for libraries with limited annual budgets, these projects get deferred or go unexplored.
Two bills that have passed the NYS Senate, but are currently stuck in the Assembly, A.9240 and A.9752-A, will help change that.
Currently, each library in NYS requires special legislation to qualify for tax exempt public financing through DASNY. Assembly bill A.9752-A provides a blanket authorization for all libraries in NYS to qualify for financing through DASNY. This is a commonsense measure that removes an unnecessary hurdle for local libraries that need public financing. DASNY has a recommend minimum project threshold of $5M, so that the cost-efficiencies gained through public financing are fully realized. Many libraries need public financing for capital projects, but their project does not meet this $5M threshold. Assembly bill A.9240 would permit libraries to aggregate capital projects so as to take advantage of financing through DASNY.
We need our supporters to take action to ensure that our friends in the Assembly fight to get this legislation passed. We must speak up now. Thank you!