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Library election is March 5.

Byline: Michael Kane

BOYLSTON - A date of March 5 has been set by selectmen for a special Proposition 21/2 debt exclusion election, should a proposed new library at Hillside gain voter approval two days earlier at a special town meeting.

The board set the date after conferring with Town Clerk Sandra Bourassa, who suggested the election follow closely behind the town meeting vote, but that an extra day should be given in case town meeting goes two days.

Debt exclusions differ from overrides in that they only temporarily increase the levy limit and the extra tax burden is reduced after the bond is paid off by the community.

The new library is proposed for a piece of land up the hill from the Town Hall and across from the rear parking lot behind the police station and school district offices. That section of land had already been approved as a site at last year's town meeting.

The new building is estimated to cost about $5 million and be around 12,000 square feet and is expected to be designed in a way that will allow a senior center to be built at a future date that will share the parking lot and some utilities.

Unlike the proposed renovation of the current library that ended when the Zoning Board of Appeals denied some of the special permits needed, the new project will not use state money.

That decision was made after library trustees did the math and realized once they were placed on another waiting list, the cost of construction inflation would mean the final cost to voters would be the same over the length of time it would take to get state funding. That meant the same tax burden on residents, but at least three, and possibly many more, years without a new building.

Trustees instead opted to go on without state aid and began to plan a new project. The state closed out the grant as part of an approved project, meaning, as long as the town does not apply for another construction grant for 20 years, it does not have to pay back the money already spent.

It is expected that a new library could be open as soon as the fall of 2009 if approved by voters.

A virtual tour of the proposed library can be found on the library's Web site, www.boylstonlibrary.org. To access the tour, click on the "Building Program" link, then the movie ticket icon.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Dec 20, 2007
Words:414
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