Build the library

| 11 Oct 2012 | 01:16

    In looking at the facts surrounding the construction of the new library, it is clear that this project should move forward. The funding is in place. Per state law, a portion of your property taxes, about $100, is required to be directed toward a public library. These figures will not change whether we keep the existing deficient library or build a new library that will service the needs of the entire community. Interestingly, approximately the same tax dollars are allocated annually to the township’s Recreation Department.
    Due to the inadequate size of the current library, the library board has accumulated a significant surplus over the past decade, specifically earmarked to pay for part of the construction. Adequate ongoing funds are available to cover the balance, even if state laws were to change. This is all at no additional cost to the taxpayers.
    An excellent centralized site has been secured, space has been offered for township use, and the existing library will be donated to the township as well. Both of these areas could address the deficiencies and needs of the municipality at a much lower cost than new construction. Perhaps it could even become a new home for our senior programs.
    The arguments that the state may reduce or eliminate the library funding requirement, and that libraries are no longer relevant in today’s digital age, really don’t seem to hold water. It is hard to imagine that the legislature would reduce library funding and plunge the state into a literary ‘dark age.’ Reading about the vibrant, modern libraries in other towns illustrates that they make a very significant contribution to those communities.
    Given this, it is obvious why, as council candidates, John Richards and I support the mayor and the Library Board in their efforts to get the new library built for the benefit of residents of all ages.

    Dave Ofshinsky
    Candidate for township council
    West Milford