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Who will pay at center of debate over Youngwood library

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By Kate Wilcox
Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Borough and library officials are staying tight-lipped about discussions to fund a new room for the Youngwood Area Public Library.

After receiving bids for construction in late June to complete a room for the library in the new borough building, Youngwood council members questioned whether the library would step in and pay for the work.

Council was under the impression that the library was ready to provide the funds, because the borough is providing the building, but there is no written agreement between the two sides.

That concerns several council members and borough Solicitor Gerald W. Yanity.

Council members met with library officials July 8 to discuss the terms of the agreement, but neither side will say what was discussed.

“I really can't comment on it because negotiations are still going on,' said Cesare Muccari, director of the Greensburg Hempfield Library. The Youngwood Library is a branch of the Greensburg Hempfield library.

Council President Lloyd Crago referred calls to Muccari.

“All I can comment on, it was positive,” Crago said. “I don't think there's going to be any problem; it was a positive result. We came to an agreement — let's put it that away — and we're moving forward.”

Muccari said he would wait until after council's next meeting July 29 to comment further.

He said “if everything goes as planned” the library will raise funds for the project.

The borough applied for a grant from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund on behalf of the library. Funding of $65,000 was awarded as a matching grant. The library would have to come up with $40,000.

Council voted on July 2 to accept the low construction bids for finishing the room at a cost of $72,000, but made clear that the borough would be under no obligation to convert it to a library.

If council does not make the room a library, it would lose the matching grant and would be responsible for the full $72,000 for construction.

“We have to finish the room no matter what,” Crago said at the last council meeting July 1.

Kate Wilcox is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or kwilcox@tribweb.com.

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