Tompkins County
New York

Resolution
RES-2015-59

Authorizing the Tompkins County Public Library to Utilize for Library Purposes the Space Formerly Occupied by the Finger Lakes Library System within the Tompkins County Library Building

Information

Department:County AdministrationSponsors:
Category:Buildings and FacilitiesFunctions:Library

Attachments

  1. Printout
  2. Handout - 3-24-15 - TCPL

Resolution/Document Body

WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature recognizes the great value of the Tompkins County Public Library (“TCPL”) in serving the varied needs of our diverse community, and

 

WHEREAS, for generations, Tompkins County has provided substantial support to the TCPL, both in direct and substantial financial contributions and also in the provision of high-quality, well-maintained space provided without charge, and

 

WHEREAS, after study of various alternatives, the County determined that the relocation of the TCPL from its facility on Cayuga Street to the former Woolworth’s Building at the intersection of Green Street and Cayuga Street would be the most cost-effective approach to maintaining a quality library that served the community’s needs, and

 

WHEREAS, by Resolution No. 233, dated September 28, 1998, this Legislature amended the 1998 Capital Program to purchase and renovate the Woolworth’s Building for use as the County Library, using a substantial gift from the Park Foundation to assist with the cost of acquiring and improving the property for Library purposes, and

 

WHEREAS, since the relocation of the TCPL to its current space on Green Street in the year 2000, the number of users of the Library has grown steadily to 430,000 users in 2013 and the scope of services and programs provided to the public has expanded significantly; and

 

WHEREAS, over that 15-year period, library utilization patterns have changed markedly, particularly as the digital “revolution” has become an ingrained part of our lives and culture, and

 

WHEREAS, after occupying the Green Street location for 15 years, the opportunities and limitations of the existing space configuration have become evident, and

 

WHEREAS, with the 2000 relocation of the TCPL to its current location, the County has leased a 6,112-square foot portion of the facility to the Finger Lakes Library System under a 10-year lease that was extended for five additional years in 2010, and

 

WHEREAS, upon due and proper notice, the Finger Lakes Library System has now relocated its operations to a facility within the Town of Dryden, leaving the space within the Library vacant, and

 

WHEREAS, the Finger Lakes Library System’s annual rental payment to the County was eliminated in the 2015 budget, and

 

WHEREAS, in keeping with the County’s intent when it acquired and improved the property for the purpose of housing the County Library, and consistent with a 2008 space study commissioned by the Library, the TCPL has a strong and vital interest in utilizing the space vacated by the Finger Lakes Library, and

 

WHEREAS, in furtherance of that interest, and as a means of minimizing the cost burden to the County, the TCPL Foundation has embarked on a fund-raising campaign that has raised $2.4 million to date and has a total fundraising goal of $2.75 million, and

 

WHEREAS, prior to proceeding with design and other work related to the use of the space vacated by the Finger Lakes Library System, the TCPL has requested an affirmation by the County Legislature that the vacated 6,112 square feet shall be made available by the County and without charge to the Tompkins County Public Library, provided that the space is used for Library purposes, and

 

WHEREAS, the Tompkins County Legislature wishes to provide such assurances to TCPL, now therefore be it

 

RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Government Operations Committee, That the Tompkins County Legislature does hereby grant the Tompkins County Public Library the authority to utilize the space formerly occupied by the Finger Lakes Library System under the same terms as the TCPL’s occupancy of the remainder of the County Library facility.

SEQR ACTION:  TYPE II-20

Meeting History

Mar 24, 2015 3:30 PM  Government Operations Committee Regular Meeting

Ms. Currie provided a brief history of the co-location with Finger Lakes Library Service (FLLS) and that when initially moving to the Green Street location a plan was made to have FLLS vacate the space at a future date for the Tompkins County Public Library to expand. Ms. Currie said the space will allow the Library to create a 21st Century Learning Lab, a long-planned young adult/teen services area, and support for the Library’s collections. An overview of each space was provided and Ms. Currie said the Foundation’s fundraising efforts will provide the technology, facility updates, and assist to organize and refresh/increase the Library’s collections. Ms. Currie invited members of the Committee to tour the Library if they had any questions.

Mr. Mareane said the reason the resolution is brought forward was a request from Mr. Lane to have the Legislature go on record for supporting this expansion. The original purchase of the building was for Library use and although there will be a loss of revenue from the FLLS move it was already reduced as part of the 2015 budget.

Ms. Kiefer offered friendly suggestions to the resolution. She spoke of a restriction placed on the building by the Park Foundation when purchased that a second floor could not be added. She suggested adding that information in the fourth WHEREAS, "renovate the Woolworth's Building on Green Street for use as the County Library, using a substantial gift from the Park Foundation to assist with the cost of acquiring and improving the property for Library purposes (while at the same time forbidding the addition of a second story)". Mr. Mareane expressed concern adding the language referencing the addition restriction. He said it would not change the intent of the resolution and there have also been discussions of "air rights" over the Library as an opportunity. Mr. Morey believes the addition would take away from the benefactor as well. Ms. Kiefer disagreed and believes it is only stating a fact. Mr. Mareane said he was not sure that it would not impair the potential use of "air rights" and, in addition, if the original agreement stated the restriction it is not necessary to include. Ms. Kiefer replied some members of the current Legislature may not be aware of the restriction and it is a historical fact. Mr. Wood said he does not recall this restriction.

It was MOVED by Ms. Kiefer to amend the fourth WHEREAS paragraph of the resolution as follows: "...renovate the Woolworth's Building on Green Street for use as the County Library, using a substantial gift from the Park Foundation to assist with the cost of acquiring and improving the property for Library purposes (while at the same time forbidding the addition of a second story)". MOTION FAILED FOR LACK OF A SECOND.

Ms. Kiefer requested Ms. Currie's document be included in the Legislature agenda information.

RESULT:RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:David McKenna, Member
SECONDER:Dooley Kiefer, Member
AYES:Daniel Klein, Dooley Kiefer, David McKenna, Nathan Shinagawa, Glenn Morey
Apr 7, 2015 5:30 PM Media Tompkins County Legislature Regular Meeting
RESULT:ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Peter Stein, Member
SECONDER:Carol Chock, Member
AYES:Will Burbank, Carol Chock, James Dennis, Kathy Luz Herrera, Dooley Kiefer, Daniel Klein, Michael Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, David McKenna, Glenn Morey, Michael Sigler, Peter Stein
EXCUSED:Martha Robertson, Nathan Shinagawa