Library Expansion Back on City Council Table
The board will meet with Library Trustees and other officials on a yet-to-be-determined date.
Alderman-At-Large Paul Denaro, who chairs the Liasion Committee, said he will set the meeting date at later time.
Several officials have been invited to the meeting, including the Board of Library Trustees, the City Auditor, City Engineer and representatives from the Massachusetts Library board.
Alderman-at-Large Richard Haggery requested the presence of the officials "so that we can ask questions… so we can try to bridge the gap."
"We’re going in circles," he said. "We’re spinning our wheels here on both sides, I would like to see us come to some conclusions."
Denaro had not decided on whether the meeting would be held in the City Council Chambers or in the committee room as of Tuesday night's vote. Haggerty argued against the Chambers, saying that the meeting may be "more productive" if held in the committee room, without a live television broadcast.
Alderman Ray Drapeau, who has been vocal in his support of the library expansion project, said he hopes city officials can come to a compromise at the upcoming Liasion Committee meeting.
"I just want to have everybody take a collective breathe and say, 'Let’s make this happen,'" said Drapeau. "I think it’s too important an issue to just let it pass it by. We know we have a library in a deplorable condition, we need to rectify that. There is no way we can keep it in that condition for the long haul."
Drapeau urged library expansion supporters to look at the size and scope of the project and be ready to discuss other options. The trustees have put forth a proposal for a $24.4 million addition to the 131-year-old public library building on Pleasant Street. In the past, Mayor Scott Galvin has said that the city could afford $5 million for the library project, but no more.
"This would be a tragedy if it just fell by the wayside and we didn’t do anything," he added.
Alderman Darlene Mercer-Bruen agreed, adding that she is looking forward to the upcoming meeting.
"We do need to make some changes to the library," she said. "I want to be very clear, I don’t support the plan that is in front of us… I truly hope that when we have our liaison meeting that we will come to some compromises, so we can move forward."