Updated 02/28/2013 04:38 AM
Proposed Hamlin Library Moves Forward
The town of Hamlin is one step closer to building a brand new library. The zoning board approved a motion Wednesday to construct the new building in the vacant lot behind the town hall.
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The library currently rents space in an under-developed shopping plaza between a bar and a pizzeria. The library director says it's not an appropriate place for a library and feels the new location will provide a central meeting place for families downtown.
When constructing a new building, the Hamlin town code requires there to be a 70-feet setback from the road. The lot behind the town hall would only allow for 48 feet. After several public hearings on where the new library should be located, the board decided to waive the setback variance in a 3-2 vote.
"I voted no because I felt that it was a fairly large building for that small area and there's absolutely no way to expand because you're locked into that area," said Norman Baase, Zoning Board chairman.
Hamlin's new library will be roughly 60 by 100 feet. It will include a large meeting room for community groups and computers that residents can use for free.
"Libraries have changed to become peoples' living room. It's the third place to go. You go to work, you come home, you go to the library to meet your friends, work on projects. I think we provide an important service to the community. I think we will for a very long time," said Kay Hughes Dennett, Hamlin library director.
Hughes Dennett says the project won't cost Hamlin taxpayers a dime, as $600,000 came from a Hamlin resident's endowment and $466,000 from a New York State construction grant. The town will receive the grant in June.
The next town meeting concerning the library's construction is March 4.