Local libraries receive state aid for green energy projects

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Two area libraries are taking steps to become more energy efficient with help from the State. The New York State Library has awarded funding to the Four County Library System in Vestal to replace its rubber roof and install solar panels, and to the George F. Johnson Memorial Library for new LED light fixtures.

“Local libraries are the cornerstones of every community,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. “It’s important that we support our libraries by providing them with the resources they need to be successful. These projects are good for the environment and for the libraries’ bottom line.”

In total, 173 construction grants were awarded to public libraries and public library systems in legislative districts throughout New York State. These grants are supported by a $14 million capital fund appropriation in the 2015 State Budget for construction and renovation of public libraries and public library systems in New York State.

The Four County Library System was awarded $92,213 for its roof replacement and solar panel installation; the George F. Johnson Memorial Library’s second and final phase of its LED project to replace antiquated fluorescent lights with energy-efficient LED lighting is being funded through a $19,740 award.

“Our project, which replaces a leaky roof and implements a solar energy system, will make important infrastructure improvements while reducing the long range energy costs of the 4CLS,” said Steven Bachman, Executive Director of the Four County Library System. “As a result, more resources will be able to be applied directly to the support of library services across Broome, Chenango, Otsego, and Delaware County. We are very thankful for the support of Assemblywoman Lupardo.”

“The new lights provide substantially improved lighting, obviously critical in a library setting; they are also environmentally friendly,” said Ed Dunscombe, Director of the George F. Johnson Memorial Library. “The first phase of the project resulted in a 28 percent reduction in electricity usage, reduced the addition of old florescent bulbs to the waste stream, and saved many man-hours previously devoted to replacing bulbs and ballasts. The Library Trustees and I would like to thank Assemblywoman Lupardo for her continued support of libraries.”