To the editor: Vote yes for Whiting Library at Chester Town Meeting

The Whiting Library Board of Trustees encourages all Chester voters to attend Town Meeting on Monday, March 3 to support your public library and vote yes on Article 5.

Article 5 seeks $119,820, less any grant funds received, for the purpose of restoring the Whiting Library building. Any funds borrowed will be financed for a period of not more than five years.

The town of Chester has applied for a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Program Grant for rural public libraries. It and is a rare opportunity for Chester to secure much needed funding. As with any old building, it is best to make timely repairs and routine maintenance to address problems before they become even more costly. Example: This year a water leak cost more than $7,000 in repairs and clean-up because of deferred maintenance. Sadly, due to financial constraints over the years, repairs have not been made and now the building is urgently in need of restoration. Further delay will hasten decay, making future restoration even more costly. The good news is that through this USDA grant, we can secure the funding to start work this year, which will save money in the long run.

Public libraries are culturally and technologically critical to the rural communities they serve. They are important to bridging the digital divide, enhancing economic vitality and improving the quality of life in rural America. Chester’s public library receives almost 100 visitors a day and its attraction is more than books on the shelves. Whiting Library offers audio books, public access computers, internet access services, programs for all ages, art shows, a lending high-powered telescope, books for sale, a copy machine, community room and, of course, friendly, helpful staff and service.

Constructed in 1891-92, the Whiting Library is an architectural and cultural treasure and was built using the best available materials: marble, granite, brick and wood. Designed by the leading Vermont architect of the time, George H. Guernsey, the Whiting Library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

As Trustees of this historically significant building, we appeal to everyone in Chester to take pride in their library and play a part in saving this community treasure! All it takes is your “yes” vote on Article 5.

We thank you for your support. If you have any questions, please give any one of us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

 The Whiting Library Board of Trustees
Bruce Parks, chair
Mariette Bock
Marylou Farr
Suzy Forlie
David Lord
Kathy Pellett
Lynda Tallarico

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