's out-of-pocket cost for their long-awaited renovation and addition just became a little lighter, according to a press release from State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., I-Sag Harbor.
The library has been awarded a $137,667 grant, which allows the trustee board to undertake an exterior stabilization project. The funds are a part of $14 million in capital funds for public library construction in the 2010 state budget, Thiele said in a statement.
John Jermain is 101 years old and has literally been falling apart for years. After more than 10 years of talks and one unsuccessful and rather contentious vote, voters approved a $9.9 million construction project, to be bonded over 20 years, in 2009.
Just last month, the Sag Harbor Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals approved the plans for the repair, restoration and 7,000-square-foot expansion in the back of the building, according to The Sag Harbor Express.
"With libraries now experiencing remarkable increases in use, and with budget cuts creating significant hardship, I am thrilled that my constituents, and the beautiful John Jermain Memorial Library, will benefit from these state funds," the assemblyman said.
He added that public libraries across the state are in dire need of renovation and upgrades. "A recent survey showed a documented need for public library construction and renovation projects totaling more than $2.53 billion. More than 40 percent of the over 1,000 public library buildings in communities across New York are over 60 years old. Another 30 percent are more than three decades old," he said in Friday's statement.
Sag Harbor's greatest benefactor, Mrs. Russell Sage, commissioned the building in 1910 in memory of her grandfather, Major John Jermain. It a historic landmark and is listed on the state and National Registers of Historic Places.