Voters in Shelburne Will Decide on $6.5 Million Library and Town Center Project

SHELBURNE, Vt. - Voters will soon head to the polls in Shelburne, they must decide on a multimillion dollar bond to pay for a new, larger library.

The Pierson Library is a popular place in Shelburne and since 2001 it's been attached to Shelburne’s historic town hall, with the children's section occupying the basement.

"It wasn't really built to be a library but it had enough space at the time for the functions that you need for a library but not much more,” said Kevin Unrath, library director.

Unrath says more than 15 years later, the building has aged and it's become an inadequate space.

"We have twice as many people coming in the door, we check out twice as many books, we have about 8,000 more items on the shelf than we did when we moved over so we are sort of busting at the seams a little bit," explained Unrath.

Now the city is asking voters to approve a $6.5 million bond to pay for a new library. Nearly $4 million will go towards construction.

Unrath said, "That building will have much more windows, more glass, it will be more inviting and there will be a fireplace... It will have additional meeting space, an additional computing space as well as about 20 percent more space for books and other materials."

Nearly a million dollars will go towards renovating the town hall building itself, modifications will also be made across the site to make it all safer and more accessible.

"The overall town center or the campus really could use some improvements in terms of the flow of traffic, pedestrian access, storm-water drainage and things like that," said Unrath.

With more than 60,000 visiting the library each year, Unrath says the time to build is now and he is confident in the support the project has received so far.

Unrath said, "We feel good putting the vote out there, we feel it's appropriate and we'll wait and see what Shelburne residents think."

The anticipated impact on property owners in Shelburne is expected to be about $35 per $100,000 of assessed value.

Early voting begins this Friday with the official town meeting day slated for November 7th.


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