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Protesters urge Hamlin planning board to approve new library

Posted at: 04/01/2013 10:30 PM
Updated at: 04/01/2013 11:23 PM

There's a plan on the table for a new library in Hamlin. Residents say it has community wide support and more than a million dollars to help pay for it. So residents want to know why it's taking the Hamlin Town Planning Board months to approve it.

Hamlin library trustees want to build a state of the art library that could accommodate more people and more programs. The library director tells News10NBC that use of the library has grown from 5,100 people in 2000 to more than 28,000 visitors last year.

There's a million dollars in a state grant and an endowment that would pay for a new library, yet it's been stuck in the planning board since January. Some people who live in Hamlin fear this could cost the town the state grant.

There were a group of protesters at the Hamlin Town Hall Monday. They want the planning board to approve the new library. Parents like Lara Schuler say the current location isn't suitable anymore.

Lara Schuler said, “We have buckets on top of the shelves of books to catch the rainwater when it comes in. We have rags stuffed under doors to keep the rats from the dumpster from coming in.”

Another big problem they say is the location. It's right next to a bar. The people were protesting because the proposal wasn't on the agenda for Monday's planning board meeting and the planning board wasn't talking to the residents or to News10NBC.

Linda Morey, Hamlin Planning Board, said, “At this time i have no comment. Thank you though.

News10NBC's Lynette Adams said, “But why not, why is there no response to the people of this community.”

Morey said, “All of our responses are done in open session. So like I said you're welcome to stay.”

Schuler said, “We feel so strongly about this new library. It meets code in everyway and are just so sick that six people could be blocking this for a million dollars tax free for our community, our children.”

We've been told the planning board has numerous questions about the proposal. However, the supervisor told News10NBC on Monday that the plan complies with all town codes. The planning board has postponed the matter until next month's meeting in May.

Some residents say this isn't about the library at all, but rather, it's a political power struggle going on behind the scenes.