VICTOR / FARMINGTON, N.Y (WROC) — In about a month, the Town of Victor will vote on a major expansion for their library. The proposed 24,000 square-foot facility will cost $16.6 million.
Some say it’s smart move, to prepare for a growing population. Others, say the money isn’t worth it.
Walking around the Victor-Farmington Library, it can feel a bit like a maze. Passageways between shelves are tight. The children’s section, comprised of a far corner, holding up to three families at a time.
“It’s not acceptable,” said Mitch Donovan, chairperson for communication committee.
Donovan and library director Tim Niver started discussing the possibility of an expansion in 2017.
Findings from a professional space study say more space is needed. Not just for current usage, but anticipated growth.
“70% of the growth in Ontario County right now is coming from Victor, Farmington and Canandaigua,” Niver said.
Before the pandemic, the library would see 400 or 500 people a day. While that number has declined a bit with COVID, the two say numbers are slowly coming back up, and it’s not just the children’s section; It’s people of all ages.
The community room is also in high demand.
“We have to turn people away in the Malone Room, where public events are held,” Donovan said.
Some features of the proposal include a larger community room for more than 100 people, an outdoor event space, a coffee shop and more. See the full list of features.
For taxpayers, it would mean about $55 more per year, for every $100,000 of a home value.
Niver says it’s comparable to a night out for dinner, or a Netflix subscription.
But not everyone’s on board.
“We are being asked to subsidize and pay for the needs of a future population,” said a resident at a board meeting. “I really feel as though the community was not informed enough about this from the start of the planning process.”
Donovan and Niver disagree, and say they’ve been transparent from day one. Niver says taxpayers have previously agreed to a few extra cents to help fund research.
Come May 17, a decision will be made.
“We have a difference of opinion here,” said Donovan. “There are going to be some people that vote no. I believe the majority will vote yes, because of the professionalism that’s been demonstrated,” Donovan said.
If approved, the new library would open in 2024.
The two say if this gets voted down, they likely won’t continue pursuing due to time and money constraints.
The vote scheduled for Tuesday, May 17 takes place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., at the Victor Primary School Gymnasium.