Walsh Announces State Grants For Local Libraries

Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C,I,Ref-Ballston) announced today that two Saratoga County libraries will be allocated over $200,000 in state aid for library construction funds. The grants, which will directly benefit the Clifton Park-Halfmoon and Galway Public Libraries, will fund important improvement projects and will provide support for the crucial role these local institutions play in our community.

The grants come from $24 million in capital funds for public library construction and broadband infrastructure projects provided in the 2017-18 State Budget. The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library will receive $62,625 to replace its current fluorescent lights with a new, energy-efficient LED lighting system. The Galway Public Library’s $140,106 grant will fund phase 1 of its new building project, including excavation, wall and roof framing, foundation construction and concrete slabs.

“Our local libraries are critically important pillars in the communities that make up the 112th Assembly District. They provide a welcoming place for residents of all ages and backgrounds to come together as a community and enjoy the many fun and educational offerings that are provided,” said Walsh, Ranking Minority Member on the Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology. “I will always pursue opportunities to deliver state funding in support of our libraries, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact these grants have on their continued growth and success.”

These grants come at a critically important time for our state’s libraries. A recent survey showed a documented need for public library construction and renovation projects totaling more than $1.7 billion. More than 51 percent of the more than 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another 33 percent are more than three decades old. Many of New York’s local public libraries are unable to accommodate users with disabilities, are energy inefficient, and cannot provide Internet and computer and other electronic technologies to users because of outdated and inadequate electrical wiring.

In the 2018-19 State Budget, the Legislature provided $34 million for projects that will be announced in summer 2019.