Patchogue Village is in talks for several possible locations and uses for the Carnegie Library building in order to save it from .
“I think we’re farther along than you think we are in terms of possibilities,” Mayor Paul Pontieri said during Tuesday’s .
According to the 's , the Carnegie Library opened in 1908 and was used as a library until 1981 when the Patchogue-Medford Library moved to Main Street. The building was sold to and used by , which has since moved. The library is now owned by Tritec Real Estate Inc., who is obligated to move the library as part of its in downtown Patchogue.
Approximately 45 residents attended the meeting, including those involved in a on Monday night.
Pontieri has said that the costs involved in maintaining the building combined with the new state-mandated two percent tax cap may limit an available revenue stream to support it.
However, all board members and the mayor said during the meeting that they all are in support of finding a way to keep the building.
Discussion at the board meeting first centered on trying to find a specific location to place the library.
A proposed location for the library in the parking lot adjacent to the main building of the Patchogue Fire Department on Lake Street is opposed by the department’s chief Joe Perry, due to it eliminating 17 parking spots near the station.
“Eliminating 17 parking spots would increase the likelihood that these members would be driving around looking for a parking spot when they should be on a piece of apparatus responding,” Perry said in a written statement as he was unable to attend the meeting. “Valuable time would be lost. Every second counts when lives and property are at stake.”
While the Village Board can still place the building in that location, they discussed locations on Jennings Avenue and North Ocean Avenue as well.
Resident David Siegel said during public comments to the board that it was important they find a good prospective location to place the library.
“You have to look at North Ocean Avenue as a good prospect, Lake Street as a good prosepct or forget about it altogether,” Siegel said.
A final location was not decided at the meeting, and will instead take place at the next Village Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 24. Village Trustee Gerard Crean said that it would be better to first reach out to Perry, and the board would also look into the feasibility of moving the library to the west side of Jennings Avenue.
Also discussed during the meeting were the full obligations that Tritec has for the Carnegie Library once a location is chosen.
Village Attorney Brian Egan said that Tritec is obligated to do all of the necessary plans to move the building including the repair of two exterior walls at no cost to the Village.
While an exact cost to move the library was not announced, Pontieri said that up to $1 million can be designated from a grant that Tritec applied for to cover the costs of the move. Should a contractor determine the costs to be over $1 million, Tritec will have to pay the extra cost. Additionally, the company will not receive any money from the grant for the move until after the project is completed to the Village’s satisfaction.
“The village is not a part of that grant,” Egan said. The grant money will go to Tritec directly to support the moving costs.
Pontieri said that he has also been actively seeking out a new use for the building. While he could not comment on all uses that he is seeking out, one of the possibilities he did cite included having a sculptor use the space to display their work and teach classes.
Crean, as chair of economic development in the Village, has said he would be willing to sell the library to a private entrepreneur at a favorable rate so that it will find a use.
“Whatever the market value I’d be willing to discount that and sell it to a private entrepreneur to sell it, privatizing it and bring it under tax rules,” Crean said.
The Village Board will next meet to discuss the library on Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m.