The weather-related postponement of last week’s Hampton Bays Library bond referendum will provide district taxpayers will two additional opportunities to learn more about the $9.9 million project before heading to the polls on Tuesday, April 4.
The first informational meeting is scheduled for Sunday, March 26, from 1 to 3 p.m., and the second for Thursday, March 30, from 7 to 9 p.m.. Both meetings will take place in the main programming room at the Ponquogue Avenue facility.
Members of the library’s Board of Trustees will attend both meetings to answer questions from the public about the project, which calls for the complete gutting and renovation of the single-story building.
The proposed work calls for creating a completely new floor plan for the 20,000-square-foot library, as well as replacing its roof, adding insulation throughout the building, and installing an energy efficient heating and cooling system. Included in the projected costs is the proposed purchase of an adjoining half-acre lot at 3 Argonne Road for $390,000 and using the land to provide a few dozen additional parking spaces.
The project would be financed with a $9.9 million bond that could run for as long as 30 years and with an annual debt service of $646,000, according to Library Director Susan LaVista, who recently stressed that those terms have not yet been finalized.
If the bond is ultimately approved, the library tax rate would climb about 18 cents, to approximately 77 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an estimated 30-percent increase. Therefore, a person with a house assessed at $350,000 and now paying about $201 in library taxes can expect to pay an extra $64 a year for the length of the bond to finance the work.
Ms. LaVista said this week that the board is taking advantage of the delay to share more information with taxpayers. Prior to last week’s scheduled vote, the board held just one informational meeting, on March 7, at the library that attracted nearly two dozen people, with many questioning the project’s estimated costs and the lack of specific details being shared regarding the plan.
“It’s in response to a lot of questions about the project,” Ms. LaVista said. “So the board decided to schedule more meetings.”
Registered district taxpayers can vote on the $9.9 million bond referendum in the library’s main program room between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4.