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Library proposal voted down

Expansion referendum defeated 3,428 to 1,191

Guilderland library officials said the expansion was needed because the current building is aging and the community has grown since the facility was built in 1992.

Guilderland library officials said the expansion was needed because the current building is aging and the community has grown since the facility was built in 1992. Photo by Kristen Roberts.

— Guilderland voters soundly turned down a plan to add a new $12.9 million expansion onto the library.

A referendum to bond the entire cost of the project was put to a vote on Tuesday, June 26. The plan was voted down 3,428 to 1,191.

"Well, we are disappointed," said Doug Morrissey, president of the library’s Board of Trustees. "We were hoping (residents) would follow the facts rather than the campaign of fear that has been spreading around town over the past few days, but we'll abide by the vote."

Library officials said the expansion was needed because the current building is aging and the community has grown since the facility was built in 1992. Library Director Barbara Randall had also said some wait lists to use library space are so long people at times are waiting months for a room.

The project would have expanded the building to 47,660 square feet. The plan was to provide more space for a larger children’s room, provide a larger reading room for adults, allow for more meeting and study rooms and create a center for local history and genealogy.

The plan has been in the works since 2003.

Morrissey previously said much of the preliminary research to look into the project was paid for through grants. The plan was to bond the entire $12.9 million cost of the project and in the future, the library would hold fundraisers to help offset some of the costs to taxpayers.

Most homeowners within the Guilderland Library District currently pay about $1 to $1.70 per $1,000 of assessed property value. With the bond, taxpayers would have been expected to see an increase of about 28 cents per $1,000, or $55 for a $200,000 assessed home.

Matt Nelligan, chairman of the Guilderland Republican Committee, has long spoken out against the plan. He said the results show voters were paying attention.

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