WOODLAND PARK, NJ - On Nov, 7, the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act, Public Question #1 on the ballot, passed with 60% of the overall vote in the state, 63% in Passaic County, and 67% in Woodland Park.
The act allows the state to issue $125 million in bonds. The State Librarian, in consultation with the president of Thomas Edison State University, will set eligibility criteria for the grants. Under the bill, for any approved project financed by bond proceeds, the grant award may support up to 50% of the eligible cost of a project. These funds will allow facilities to become fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, to explore green initiatives, and build of disaster resilient infrastructures. The Alfred H. Baumann Free Public Library’s Building and Grounds Committee and Trustees will be focused on preparing the library to effectively compete for this grant.
“In addition to the funding this grant could provide to improve our facility, passage of this referendum was an affirmation of the importance of public libraries in our communities,” said Library Director Linda Hoffman. “The residents of Woodland Park are voracious library users and they deserve a quality facility to match their appetite for quality programs and materials. The addition of a community/programming room would be a game changer for the library. The demand for community space for programs and meetings is high and without dedicated space for these purposes, we are not able to effectively meet the community’s needs. Our hope is that this grant will enable us to bring our residents the facility they deserve.”
The passage of the bond act was a team effort. It would not have been possible without the dedication and support from the General Assembly, Senate, local Council Members and Mayors, statewide organization supporters, the New Jersey Library Association and the New Jersey Libraries Build Communities Task Force.
“Most importantly, a heartfelt thanks to Mayor Kazmark and the Borough of Woodland Park Council Members, the Woodland Park and Passaic Valley Boards of Education, the Woodland Park Business Association, Woodland Park local organizations, the Friends of the Alfred H. Baumann Free Public Library and to all of the residents of Woodland Park and throughout the state who advocated for their public libraries and voted in favor of the bond issue,” Hoffman added.