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Pound Ridge Daily Voice serves Pound Ridge, NY

Economy Wreaking Havoc On Library Renovation Plans

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -  – A nearly seven-year old fundraising campaign to make capital improvements on Pound Ridge’s Hiram Halle Memorial Library has been stuck in neutral due to the sputtering economy.

The Pound Ridge Library Foundation began the campaign in 2004 to raise money for a $2.9 million project that would have included a bigger children’s library, a larger multi-purpose room, an expanded non-book collection, better lighting, improved technology, improved staff workspace, improved restrooms and an updated HVAC system, among other things. The project would add another 4,000 square feet to the facility.

“With the economy hitting us like it has, it has really put a damper on it,” said Library Director Marilyn Tinter.

Hiram Halle became a special district library in 2004, which means it is supported through taxpayer money and its board of trustees are elected by the public. However, tax money can only be used for operational costs; any capital improvements must be done through fundraising. The Pound Ridge Library Foundation was formed for that purpose.

Tinter said that the Foundation has been seeking funds for the near-$3 million project for more than six years, but so far less than $700,000 has been raised.

“We have had several fundraising events,” Tinter said, “but they don’t raise a huge amount of money, although they do raise awareness.”

The Foundation conducts fund drives every June and November.

“It’s their capital campaign committee that seeks funding and offers funding opportunities for people to step up and support the library,” Tinter said.

Tinter said she remains optimistic that the project will get done because, she says, “the quality of the library is the yardstick by which a community is measured.”

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