Community Library seeking $ for asbestos, renovations


By Patsy Nicosia

The Town of Cobleskill has given its stamp of approval to the Community Library’s plans to seek $1 million in funding to rehab the old Annex.
Now the state just needs to do the same.
Consultant Brendon Becker is helping the library apply for funding for the work through a handful of state agencies, including the Community Development Block Grant program and Empire State Development.
“Would you say your chances of getting one of them are good?” asked Supervisor Leo McAllister at a public hearing on the CDBG grant Monday.
It’s hard to say, Mr. Becker said.
He’s getting started later than he’d like on the grant applications and he wishes he had more time.
But when he applied for four grants for the Klinkhart Hall Arts Center in Sharon Springs a few years he got two of them.
“We’re throwing a lot of irons into the fire,” he said.
The library is looking for gap funding to help cover the cost of asbestos removal in the old Annex.
Library Director Kim Zimmer said they’d expected the price tag to be in the $30,000 range.
Instead it came in at $200,000-$300,000.
State library funding it’s already received can no longer be used for asbestos removal, Ms. Zimmer said, and getting that piece of the project done is critical to their moving forward.
“Without it, we’re pretty much stuck,” she said.
Even if they’re successful with a grant or grants, it’s only a start, Mr. Becker said.
The total cost of the project, which would include community space, space for the Cobleskill Historical Society, and possibly a computer lab, is at least $3-$4 million.
They wouldn’t get the full $1 million; the library would still have to provide a match.
Word on the states grants is expected in December.