02.15.16

SCHUMER PUSHES FOR FEDERAL TAX CREDITS TO RENOVATE CARNEGIE FUNDED LIBRARY IN GLOVERSVILLE

Senator Says Renovation Is Long Overdue & Offers To Push For Approval of Upcoming Application

During a visit to Gloversville, NY, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today visited the historic Carnegie funded library, and learned about their plans to begin several restoration projects. Schumer also announced his support for their forthcoming application for federal New Market Tax Credits (NMTC), which will help the Library pay for these costly renovations. Schumer attended a community leaders meeting to discuss the major renovation project.

“The historic Gloversville Public Library is an anchor in this community’s downtown, but it is in desperate need of an upgrade. Right now, many of the Library’s amenities date back to the early 1900s, and patrons cannot use most of its space because of the building’s accessibility hang-ups. These kinds of building renovations – like installing an elevator, new heating system and more – could be transformative for the Gloversville Library over the long-term. So I will be pushing for the needed federal funding that could make this revitalization project a reality and help reinvigorate this City’s downtown area,” said Schumer.

The Gloversville Public Library is a Carnegie Library that was built in 1904 with a $50,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie and $14,000 in funds raised from the community. Schumer said the Library is looking to make significant renovations to the historic building, as it still retains many features from the early 1900s, including a boiler with a single pipe heating system that dates back to 1904. The building also only has one thermostat, no air conditioning and no elevator. While the Library currently has three floors of useable space, it can only utilize the first floor for general public use due to lack of accessibility to the other spaces. As a result, the Library is looking to make significant improvements to its facilities.

According to Library officials, this renovation project has the potential to double the number of patron visits in two years. Currently, the Library has 100,000 visits each year, and doubling those patron visits could provide much-needed foot traffic to downtown. According to the City of Gloversville Public Library Capital Campaign, this renovation project would overhaul the entire building and is one of the key revitalization efforts that is ongoing in the community. Specifically, the Library is seeking to complete the following renovations:

  • Provide access through the installation of an elevator to all floors, increasing useable space by 2/3,
  • Nearly triple the space devoted to the Youth of our community, including adding a room designed specifically for teens who, at the present, have no space to congregate as a group,
  • Reconfigure larger spaces to provide much needed meeting/program rooms for community use,
  • Redesign the parking lot’s entrance and egress for improved traffic safety,
  • Update the heating system to an energy efficient HVAC system with multiple zones,
  • Install new energy efficient windows and entranceways,

Schumer explained that the Library is planning to apply for a federal NMTC allocation to make these improvements a reality. During his visit, he announced he would work to secure the needed funding to make this renovation project a reality. Schumer has long been a champion of the NMTC program, which was established in 2000 with the goal of spurring economic development in low-income communities through the use of tax credits. Schumer successfully fought to extend the NMTC program in the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus appropriations bill. The Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI) within the U.S. Treasury Department accepts applications annually for the NMTC program. Through the NMTC program, Community Development Entities (CDE) or financial institutions, like banks, apply to the CDFI to receive a tax credit allocation and, if awarded an allocation, then serve as intermediaries to accept and distribute tax credit allocations. In exchange for investing in qualifying projects, individual investors and corporations can receive a tax credit on their federal income tax return, creating an incentive for individuals to invest. Schumer said that, by selling tax credits, the CDE can raise large amounts of equity for identified economic development projects, such as the revitalization of the Gloversville Public Library.

Schumer was joined by Barbara Madonna, Executive Director of the Library; members of the Library Board of Directors; members of the Fulton County Board of Supervisors; and Ron Peters, president and CEO of the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth.

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