VICTOR / FARMINGTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Residents in the Town of Victor rejected the Victor Farmington library project after a 1,415 to 3,256 vote against the proposed facility Tuesday.
The decision to nix plans for a brand new library was a bitter swallow for local leaders, but one that was fully understood amid economic fluctuations.
“After dedicating over five years to researching a larger library, consulting experts, and evaluating options, we understand and respect the hard decision voiced by voters,” said Library Board President James Myers.
The proposed 24,000 square-foot facility was estimated to cost $16.6 million. Officials projected a tax rate increase of $0.82 per $1,000 assessed value compared to the current rate of $0.27 per $1,000.
According to the library board, residents will continue to be served at the highest level despite the denied upgrades.
“We recognize the current global circumstances make this a difficult time to support a larger library,” library director Tim Niver said. “The board of trustees, volunteers, library staff, and I appreciate this opportunity to hear the voice of voters.”
Officials say the library was going to be based at 160 School St. in the village of Victor, which would have opened in 2024. Features of the proposal included a larger community room for more than 100 people, an outdoor event space, a coffee shop, plus more.
George Heltz, resident in the town explained why he voted no.
“The more questions I asked, the less answers I got, so the less answers I got the more frustrated and passionate I became,” he said. “The size of the proposal was much larger than what was needed for our community. I acknowledge we need to do something, but something this large, this grand, was not really needed.”
The current facility opened in 1995 and was built to serve up to 15,000 people. Increases in population needs for a place to research, educate or make use of internet services sparked conversation for the project prior to the pandemic.
It is not yet certain if a second attempt for a new library will take place in the future.