From the Queens Courier:
The long-awaited plans for a library at Queens West took a big step forward recently and received another shot in the arm as Queens Borough President Helen Marshall decided to allocate an additional $1 million for the project.
Marshall’s decision came after a meeting last month with representatives from the Port Authority of NY & NJ, Queens West Development Corporation (QWDC), Queens Library executives and local elected officials to rev up discussions about raising the additional funds in order to begin design plans that have been in a holding pattern for about five years.
The additional $1 million contribution from Marshall brings her contribution for the project to nearly $7 million and the total amount raised thus far is roughly $12 million, according to Marshall spokesperson Dan Andrews. However, Andrews cautioned that there is still a long way to go in terms of fundraising with some estimates for the cost of the project at nearly $40 million – depending on the scope of the library.
Awesome, we get to fund another amenity for the newbies instead of the developers doing so. This money would have been better spent on keeping already built libraries open during evenings and weekends when the majority of the population could access them. I like the "scope of the library" part. Did Helen get this memo?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest budget plan would eliminate $17 million in city funding for the Queens Library, which a library official said could force the country’s busiest library system to reduce its workforce by 31 percent and sustain major service cuts.
“If we see no restoration of funds, that would mean a 31 percent reduction in our workforce,” [Queens Library’s chief external affairs officer James] Van Bramer said. “Every community library would be closed all weekend and we’re looking at the potential for half of our libraries to be open only two or three days a week.”
Helen - any comment?