June 13, 2021

Seekonk Voters to Decide Library Funding, Town Budget

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Voters at the June 7 town meeting will be asked to approve $19.6 million to fund the construction, renovation, and expansion of the Seekonk Public Library. The money will also pay for demolition, landscaping, paving, utility, and architectural and engineering services.

The library was awarded a Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners capital grant of $7.3 Million to offset the costs of the project. The grant pays for 37 percent of the total project costs. The Seekonk Library Trust has pledged to raise $1,000,000 to further offset costs.

The statement on the library’s web site (seekonkpl.org) reads: “With a new 23,000 square foot building, we’ll be able to meet the needs of Seekonk for years to come with HVAC, air filtering and air handling that will be COVID-19 informed as well as furniture, bookshelves and meeting rooms designed for easy access and movement.”

A few reasons for why a new facility is needed are listed as follows:

  • The building’s HVAC system is well beyond its years of expected use and has been patched together over the years to accommodate increased need
  • Because of the Library’s unstable foundation, the outside shingles have splintered, windows and doors have shifted leading to leaks and roof-based drainage problems
  • Crowded stacks and seating that make patron access to collections difficult
  • Not enough space for the Library’s 82,000 item collection to be available for browsing and borrowing

The $63 Million budget for the 2022 fiscal year also needs to be voted on.

One warrant article calls for the appropriation of $1.5 million to pay for the cost of designing, planning, and construction of a new Department of Public Works facility on land owned by the town at 351 Fall River Avenue.

Another request is $2.7 million to fund the construction and renovation of the Seekonk Connolly Field and Mooney Track at Seekonk High School.

The meeting will begin at 6 pm at Seekonk High School, 261 Arcade Avenue.

A guide for the meeting can be accessed on the town website:

https://www.seekonk-ma.gov/board-selectmen/pages/guide-spring-town-meeting.

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