HERKIMER, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – On Wednesday night in the Village of Herkimer, a special meeting of the Board of Trustees was held to discuss whether they will approve a grant – being presented by Herkimer Next – to renovate and repair the Frank J. Basloe Library.

In order to work on the building in any aspect, the village board needs to approve. Michele Hummel, of Herkimer Next, presented the idea.

This funding would be used for a new roof – which has not been replaced since 1975 – a newly paved parking lot with adequate lighting, and other improvements to help bring the library up to date.

“The roof, any windows that need to be repaired,” explained Hummel, “I know that they need new doors that are handicap accessible with the buttons that you push, landscaping, parking lot, all of those things.”

She continued, “Signage, the signage is outdated, the entranceway is outdated, everything in or on the building is outdated. So, we would be looking to provide the community with an asset for years to come.”

However, Hummel, along with other library employees, would like a few things in return.

They would like a dedicated liaison within the village to make communication easier and make sure all necessary signatures are provided in a timely manner.  

They would also like the village to agree to a build-out agreement that would be added to the library’s current lease.

“In other words, if we put in a million dollars, and I’m just making this number up, but if we put in that much money, we would like the library to have credit for that much money in rent because it is your building, and it’s something that we’re doing to enhance that,” said Hummel.

They also want assurance that if the village ever decides to sell the property, it will be sold to the library, or to someone approved by the library board.

“And again, to reiterate, if you were considering selling the building, it should be to the library in order for us to enter into this agreement, or someone the library approves of,” explained Hummel.

And lastly, they would like the village to create a maintenance plan to adapt to the new changes – including HVAC, parking lot repairs, and things of that nature.

“Again, this is still not at a phase where we can guarantee funding in any way,” she said, “We are simply asking for permission to pursue this project and work on the village-owned building.”

After breaking for a brief executive session, the board returned with an answer.

“We would like to invite the library board and our board to get together to reconvene so that we can discuss this further,” said Mayor Dana Sherry.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for Monday, March 20, 2023.