"You can't have a library in a basement," said State Assemblyman Jack McEneny, D-Albany. "There's the issue of handicapped access, and there's also the potential problem with mold in a basement."
McEneny said the proposal for renovating the library is something everyone can agree on.
"My predecessor in the Assembly, Dick Conners, used to say that libraries are the last politically neutral turf in America, and I can't help but agree," said McEneny, who is also the author a history of Albany called "Albany: Capital City on the Hudson." "I really feel a library can be the heart of a community."
Community members in attendance echoed McEneny's sentiments.
Mark Burlingame, of Altamont, said he's lived in Altamont for 30 years and that his wife's family has lived in town for 50 years.
"Our whole family has used the library," said Burlingame. "My son's a teacher now at Guilderland High School, and he got his start reading at the Altamont Free Library. We all will benefit from a restored and accessible library."
Nearly 200 people attended the event, which included dinner, musical entertainment and a silent auction of items donated by local businesses, restaurants and artists. Tickets for the event were $45 each.
"We're thrilled by the support of our community," said Lynes. "We're so close to our goal, and I'm confident the money raised will put us over the top so we can raise the roof." ""