Letter to the editor: Rick Bates, Rockport Town Manager

Six facts about the proposed Rockport library

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 3:30pm

Voters in Rockport are going to the polls this November 6 to cast their votes on the proposal to build a new Public Library.  As the day approaches, here are six facts to consider in making an informed decision: 

  • The total cost to the Rockport taxpayer is $1.5 million, not $3.5 million.
    • While the cost to construct the library is estimated to be a total of $3.5 million, the bond to build the library (the amount taxpayers will pay), is $1.5 million.  The rest of the funds will be raised through private donations and grants.  
  • The tax impact for the average Rockport taxpayer is estimated at approximately $40 annually, or 11 cents a day.
    • This is based on the median average home value of $360,000 in Rockport. You can calculate the increase based on the value of your home by going to https://www.rockportlibraryfoundation.org/faqs/ and entering in the assessed value of your home.
  • Nearly 60 percent of the cost to construct the library will be paid for with private donations and grants.
    • The Rockport Library Foundation has over $1 million in pledges and grants to date, and with a successful vote in November, it hopes to reach its goal by Spring.  
  • The new proposed library is 25 percent smaller than the one previously proposed.
    • The proposed library has 7,000 square feet of finished space compared to the nearly 10,000 square feet of space proposed two years ago.  For comparison purposes, the library is currently occupying 5,400 square feet in its temporary location on Commercial Street and the old library on Limerock Street is 3,300 square feet.
  • There is room for expansion in the proposed plan.
    • As part of the construction, the design includes an option for future expansion of 3,000 square feet in the lower level if it is ever needed.
  • The second article (Question #3) on the ballot is a “bridge loan” and does not increase the cost of the project to the Rockport taxpayer.
    • This is to provide the Town with enough upfront cash to complete the project as quickly as possible, because a portion of the pledges will be received as the library is being built.