By Nick Grabbe and Sarah Marshall
- The Jones Library, a highly regarded and much loved institution, is in desperate need of repair and renovation.
- Only 45 percent of the cost of the library renovation/expansion project will be paid from local taxes, and a tax increase won’t be necessary.
- If we turn down the $13.8 million state grant after rejecting the $34 million grant for a new school, our credibility with state funding sources will be further damaged.
- If we vote “No,” taxpayers will probably have to pay for about $15 million in building improvements, with no help from the state.
- If we vote “Yes,” the amount of state income tax and sales tax payments we pay will be channeled back into the infrastructure of our Town, and not sent off to some other community.
- A “Yes” vote affirms the 10-2-1 vote of our democratically elected Town Councilors, who worked diligently for years, in numerous public meetings, to fully understand the proposed project, with the Town’s best interests and bottom line at heart.
- The expansion and renovation project will dramatically reduce fossil fuel use in the building.
- It will protect the valuable, historic, and at-risk Special Collections, which many people come to Amherst to see, and allow them to be housed securely and accessibly.
- It will make all the library’s services accessible to people with physical limitations.
- The Town’s debt payments have declined to near zero, meaning we have ample capacity to borrow funds as needed for this project.
- Historic elements of the original building will be protected, restored, and some opened to the public for the first time in decades.
- There will finally be ample bright, comfortable, and quiet areas in which patrons can sit and read.
- The project will create more space for adult collections, including Blu-ray films, and eliminate bookshelves that are six feet from the floor or at foot level.
- It will provide a safe, bright and supervised place where teenagers can hang out.
- Visitors will be able to find meeting rooms and bathrooms on the first floor.
- It will enable the children’s room to better serve the diverse ages of the hundreds of kids who come in every day.
- It will help revitalize local businesses by bringing more people downtown.
- It will show support for library employees, who shouldn’t have to work in a substandard building.
- It will provide more space for English as a Second Language, where tutors now have to compete for space.
- There will be spaces for public meetings for community groups to access directly from outside of the Library EVEN WHEN THE LIBRARY IS CLOSED.
One thought on “Our 20 one-sentence reasons to vote ‘Yes’ on Tuesday”
Amherst historians 50+ years from now will grapple with how this project, with the considerable state and private funding, became an enemy for so many.
Comments are closed.