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May 10, 2017 11:00 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Library No Longer Seeking To Purchase Adjoining Property

The Hampton Bays Library.
May 10, 2017 11:00 AM

Hampton Bays Public Library officials threw out their plans to purchase an adjoining property this week because of the lack of support from the community.

The Library Board of Trustees voted against purchasing the half-acre property, located at 3 Argonne Road, which could have been used to provide a few dozen extra parking spaces and additional room for library programming, during a meeting on Monday.

Library Director Susan LaVista said the seven-member board decided not to go through with the $390,000 purchase because residents had voted down two separate bond referendums over the past year that would have financed the purchase of the property as well as the renovation of the Ponquogue Avenue facility.

“They were concerned after two votes went down and after hearing things in the community and online,” Ms. LaVista said.

David Zimmerman, president of the board, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Although they are no longer pursuing the land purchase, library board members are still mulling how to address immediate needs at the library—most notably, the need for more parking, a new roof, and a new heating and ventilation system, according to Ms. LaVista.

The members of the board still need to discuss which projects will take highest priority, as the improvements will be financed through the library’s reserve fund. The fund currently has “a few hundred thousand dollars,” according to Ms. LaVista, though she did not specify exactly how much.

“We are going to have to review what things are on the high priority list, and get some proposals, and come up with budgets and see what we really can do,” Ms. LaVista said. “Because, as we explained to voters in our meetings, there are a lot of things in this building that are very old and will need replacing.”

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How did the board vote, individuals? Don't think the house was the problem. It was the outrageous expansion. EGOS...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on May 10, 17 12:34 PM
The Board did an evaluation on the building and presented to the public in August 2015. The meeting was covered by The Press. They had a listing of repairs and upgrades that were needed then. No building, much less a public building, should fall into disrepair. I am not sure what they have or have not done to repair or maintain the building since the evaluation two years ago. At the April 2017 Board meeting, it was reported that that water was coming in from the foundation. I am an auditor, ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on May 10, 17 1:35 PM
I think this is another example of how poorly this board and the director are reading the community. I know many who voted against the proposed $10 million proposal. I do not know of one single person who opposed buying the house next door.
By baywoman (165), southampton on May 10, 17 11:29 PM
Maybe these geniuses on the Board can find a book or two in their library about building maintenance and finance and read them!!!
By HamptonDad (236), Hampton Bays on May 10, 17 11:55 PM
Baywoman, I don't know anyone that was in favor of buying the building specifically because they did not have a plan. What were they going to do with it, how much was it going to cost to renovate and/or maintain, etc. It is almost two years that this is going on. I know that the Board members are volunteers and dedicated members of our community, but that role comes with a tremendous responsibility for taxpayer funds from over 5,000 property owners.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on May 11, 17 7:54 AM
Please fix the building, eliminate unnecessary programs and move on. ENOUGH
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on May 11, 17 8:45 AM