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Pike library design approved

April 26, 2011

After literally years of squabbling, the brand new board of the Pike County Public Library has achieved a key approval in its fight to build a new, financially viable library.

On Monday, April 4th, the Council of the Borough of Milford and the borough’s Architectural Review Board (ARP) both unanimously approved the library’s new design and plan.

They just made it under the wire, meeting the deadline for a $1 million grant from the Pennsylvania RACP (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program) Program. The grant was due to lapse on May 9th. The meeting schedules of both ARP and the council, if followed, would not have allowed the council to approve the project in May, so they changed their schedules to avoid a loss.

The borough council approved a conditional use permit and a land development plan. The council also approved the project with the condition that the group will secure other regulatory approvals, which they expect to get. Should they fail, the library board will have to return to the council.

The library, which will be built on property owned by the board at 4th Street and East Harford Street, possesses another $1 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Due to funding issues and community disfavor, the board downsized the previous design to save money.

The board possesses a total of $2.5 million that will be used only for the building. “There is no money for any landscaping,” said Michael J. Lamoreaux of McGoey, Hauser and Edsel (MEH), the board’s engineers.

The library board must now initiate a fund-raising campaign in the next few years to pay for any accidentals.

The building which will have two floors – a main floor and a basement to be developed later – will cost under $2.5 million.

Several months ago, some donors of the previous construction design asked for their money back during the months of disagreements on the previous board. “About $230,000 was withdrawn at that time, but I feel that a lot of those donors will come back now that the new design is financially sound,” said Ellen Schaffner, executive director of the library.