At the Hudson Area Library Board meeting last night, the trustees discussed, among other things, the input received from the focus groups conducted recently. One of the focus groups was designated for city and town elected officials, and although few if any of our Hudson elected officials showed up, officials from Greenport and Stockport did. It was reported that Greenport supervisor John Porreca expressed the opinion that the library should be located in his town and reiterated this idea in a subsequent email to the consultant who conducted the focus groups. What shameless presumption. The City of Hudson supports the library to the tune of $120,000 a year, while Greenport kicks in a mere $5,500. Perhaps if Greenport provided some real financial support for the library Porreca's suggestion wouldn't seem quite so ludicrous.
What emerged as the principal concern from all the focus groups was parking. People have always been dissatisfied with the parking available at 400 State Street, and the two potential new sites for the library--the Armory at Fifth and State streets and the Register-Star building at Fourth and Warren streets--offer no improvement. HAL board president Mark Orton told the trustees that he had spoken with Common Council president Don Moore and reported that "Moore is actively working on promoting a solution to the parking problem" in Hudson. The solution Moore is promoting, according to Orton, is a two- or three-story parking garage at the northeast corner of Fourth and Columbia streets--an idea that was part of Rick Scalera's "Plan B" for relocating the Department of Social Services. Orton told the board that Moore had spoken with Tom Swope, Eric Galloway, and Rick Scalera about the problem.
Were this parking garage to be realized, it would only help solve the parking problem for the library if the library were to relocate to the Register-Star building, which is only a short block away. It would provide no solution to the parking problem if the library moved to the Armory, since people who complain about lack of parking are not likely to be willing to walk a block north over to State and then a block east on State to get from the parking garage to the library.
One trustee reported being asked if the two houses north of the Armory--the two houses now being rehabilitated--were going to be demolished to create a parking lot for the library if the library moved there.
There is still time to make your thoughts about the library known. The library continues to gather feedback from the community with its online survey, but time is running out. Sunday, April 15, is the last day for responding to the online survey.