Why are we voting?
Henrietta residents will be voting this Election Day (Tuesday, November 7) on a proposition to build a new library designed to meet the needs of the community for generations to come. The proposition on the ballot will read:
"Shall the bond resolution adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Henrietta, New York, dated September 6, 2017, authorizing the issuance of up to $10,000,000.00 of general obligation serial bonds of the Town to pay for the costs of certain capital improvements consisting of construction of a new facility for the Town of Henrietta Public Library, including a building and various site and other incidental improvements in connection therewith and the acquisition of original furnishings, equipment, machinery or apparatus that may be required in connection therewith for such construction and Town use, at a maximum estimated aggregate cost of $12,500,000.00; providing for the issuance of bond anticipation notes; determining that the period of probable usefulness and maximum permissible term of any borrowing is thirty years; and pledging the faith and credit of the Town to the payment of such debt obligations and the interest thereon, be approved?”
Why do we need a new library?
Our Town has grown considerably since our current library was built in 1978, and the library’s use has been increasing over the last several years. We’ve consistently heard from the community that they’re looking for more from their library: more books, more programs (especially for families), and more quiet space in which to work individually and in small groups. We have maximized our capacity to provide these things in our current space and a team of library staff, town staff, community members, and architects have been working for almost two years to develop a plan to serve Henrietta’s needs for generations to come, which has resulted in the new library building proposal. For additional information, see our fact sheet about the 2016 Causewave survey.
Why not renovate and expand the current building?
We did look at this option. Renovating and expanding our current building would have cost over $10 million and would not provide enough space or parking. It would have also required the library to move into rented space for about a year and a half while the work was being done, adding to the cost and significantly disrupting services. The Town determined that building new was a wiser long-term investment and would allow other opportunities to achieve town goals, such as moving the Town Court on to Town Campus and out of rented space (a cost savings of over $100,000 a year).
Does the proposed cost of the project include all furnishings, technology, and moving the library to its new location?
What will the timeline for the project be if the proposition passes?
The town would begin work immediately after Election Day, and we anticipate the project will take 13 months to complete, so barring any major delays, we'd be looking at opening in December 2018 or January 2019.
How will this project impact my taxes if it passes?
The anticipated cost per household will be $18-22/year for every $100,000 of assessed value. This is based on a 3.5-5% interest rate on a 30 year bond.
What will happen to the current library building?
The Town Court will move into the current library building, which will bring the Court out of rented space (a cost savings of over $100,000 a year) and onto Town Campus.
How much will it cost to renovate the current library to house the Town Court?
We don't know that at this time.
Will the proposed new library have an elevator?
Yes, it will have a full-sized elevator.
Will there be more parking than the current building has?
What green initiatives will be implemented/utilized in the design and construction of the new library?
After ground testing and a cost/benefit analysis, it has been determined that a geothermal heating and cooling system will be a good long-term choice for the town, providing savings in both energy consumption and maintenance costs. LED lighting will be used throughout the building. Interior finishes will be specified to contain low VOCs, and wherever possible are "GreenGuard" Certified to ensure that the products have met some of the world's most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions into indoor air. Also, all wood will be "FSC" (Forest Stewardship Council), ensuring that products come from responsibly managed forests.
Will the new library have Sunday hours?
The library's strategic plan calls for us to examine the possibility of adding Sunday hours over the next 2-3 years, and that discussion will include multiple stakeholders, data regarding expected use, cost, and the overall library budget. Ultimately if this is something a large segment of our community needs, we'll move in that direction.
Will the new library be as noisy as the current library?
One of our biggest goals in the new library design was to create spaces for noisier activities like children's programming and group work as well as quieter spaces where people can concentrate on their reading, studying, and work. To this end, we zoned the first floor for primarily noisy activities (community room, children's room, check out desk) and the second floor for quieter activities (a silent room, quiet study spaces, the bulk of the adult book collection, and small rooms that can be reserved for tutors and groups to work together). This will allow us to meet the demand we have for livelier forms of learning as well as more contemplative activities.
Will the study rooms need to be reserved?
Yes, and we are hoping to have an online option for that. If the proposition passes, this will be one of the many things we'll be figuring out in more detail.
What will happen if the library proposition doesn't pass?
The town will lose the opportunity to have 2.8 acres of land to Town Campus, and our team will go back to the drawing board to determine the best way to serve the town's library needs for the long term.