Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Disappointing News

Jamie Larson reports in today's Register-Star that the current board of the Hudson Area Association Library unanimously passed a resolution at their April meeting to leave the historic building that has been the library's home since its founding in 1959: "Library board: We must move." 

The article contains some misinformation. The City never took possession of the building, in 2004 or at any other time, and the Department of Education never mandated the Hudson City School District to vacate the building. The Hudson Area Association Library bought the building from the Hudson City School District in 2005 for $300,000, and they did so only after the building had been examined by a structural engineer with particular expertise with historic buildings and determined to be sound. The $300,000 came from HUD grant money which had been returned by two grant recipients who decided, after being awarded the grants, that they didn't want to conform to HUD requirements after all. There is a mortgage on the building held by Hudson Development & Commmunity Planning Agency (HCDPA) which stipulates that the $300,000 never has to be repaid so long as the building continues to be used as a library. 

The current library board is made up of Theresa Parsons, President; Virginia Benedict, Kelley Drahushuk, Sharon Getty, Edward Gower III, Dennis Kosovac, Janet Miller, Mark Orton, Tom Noonan, Joe Rapp, and Mark Young.

Last night at City Hall, Mayor Richard Scalera said twice in private conversation, mostly for Gossips' benefit, "a lot of retaining walls can come out of that building." Fortunately, the 1818 building is protected from the fate envisioned by the mayor. It was designated a local landmark in 2005 and was recommended by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for individual listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

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