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Libraries receive construction grants

TRI-COUNTY AREA—The Fred and Harriett Taylor Memorial Library in Hammondsport, the Modeste Bedient Memorial Library in Branchport, The Watkins Glen Public Library, and the Dutton S. Peterson Memorial Library in Odessa have all been awarded construction grants through the state.
Sen. George Winner (R-C-I Elmira) announced Wednesday, March 10, that the grants had been approved. The Hammondsport library gets $27,437 and the Branchport library gets $7,825. As part of the grant, the libraries are required to provide a matching amount for the construction work.
Deborah Drain, board president for the Fred and Harriett Taylor Library, said the grant will pay for work in the downstairs meeting rooms and storage area. She said accordion style dividers will be installed so the meeting rooms can be broken up. Drain added the work will require wiring changes and include the possibility of another window installed in the lower level. She explained the work to the storage room will help with better organization of supplies.
Work has already started at the Modeste Bedient Memorial Library. Director Karen McKerlie said they already purchased new paddle fans for the heating system because it needed to be done. They will also install an automatic door and parking lot lights.
Harriet Eisman, director of the Watkins Glen library, explained these are matching grants. The libraries have to provide the same amount they were awarded to pay for work. She added the Watkins Glen library applied for the grant last summer. The application process included a presentation.
Eisman said the grant money will be used to replace doors at the library, in both the front and back. She said the doors will be replaced with automatic doors to make the library more handicapped accessible. The grant will also be used on work to make the library more energy efficient.
“(The building) is 20 years old now. Some places have settled,” said Eisman. She explained work will be done to make the structure more airtight.
Eisman said as soon as the library actually gets the funds, they will try to start work. She guessed that work could start in the spring.
The Dutton S. Peterson library will have similar work done. Gayle Greuber, director, said they will also replace the door with handicapped accessible one. The library’s windows will be replaced. She added a crawl space under the floor will be insulated, because that was never done. The library will also use the money towards putting central air into the building.
Greuber explained the library has been doing fundraisers to cover the $10,279 match needed.

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