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Council approves $2.67 million bond

Date: 12/13/2013

By Carley Dangona

WEST SPRINGFIELD – An additional $2.6 million in funds will help offset the increase in cost of renovating the West Springfield Public Library (WSPL).

At its last meeting, the Town Council unanimously approved the loan for the renovation, equipping and furnishing of the library. The bond is in addition to the already $13.4 million designated for the project, for a total cost of $16 million.

Just prior to the vote, At-Large City Councilor George Kelly said, “If other funding sources become available, not all that [loan] money will be used.”

Brian Griffin, vice president of the council, noted that the Community Preservation Committee advised him that as soon as the loan was appropriated, the Board of Library Trustees should submit the application for the $500,000 of Community Preservation Act funds as soon as possible.

To date, the ongoing West Side Story Campaign for the WSPL has raised nearly half of its $2 million goal. Funding in the amount of $6.2 million will come from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

In a recent town address, Mayor Gregory Neffinger explained the increase in the project’s cost to the inflation of the construction quote that was completed in 2010. He added that the temporary relocation of the WSPL and the inclusion of energy efficient materials also contributed to the higher dollar amount.

The mayor said that the town intends to apply for the New Markets Tax Credit Program offered by the U.S. Treasury.

According to its website,, the credit program allows “individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their Federal income tax return in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial institutions called Community Development Entities. The credit totals 39 percent of the original investment amount and is claimed over a period of seven years (5 percent for each of the first three years, and 6 percent for each of the remaining four years.

Although a temporary relocation site has yet to be designated for the construction process, Neffinger anticipated that the move to the short-term home of the library will begin by the end of this month.

He also stated that construction would most likely start in January of 2014 and would be completed sometime in 2015.