Weston board considers ramp, other changes to Wilder Library

Deborah Granquist, left, speaks with the Weston Select Board about the Wilder Library. All photos by Bruce Frauman.

 By Bruce Frauman
©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Deborah Granquist, chair of board of the Wilder Memorial Library, asked the Weston Select Board on Tuesday, May 23 to begin considering improvements to the historic library that would include handicapped access and parking. She added that since the Little School added its handicapped access ramp, the library board wanted to see if one at the library is possible. The town of Weston owns the building.

Granquist added that people pull up in front of the library to use the WiFi internet service at all hours, which she called “a good service.” But, she said, the result is that grass is disappearing. She also asked the board to consider a parking space, either paved or gravel.

Board member Bruce Downer asks if the library is limited to the building it now occupies.

Board member Bruce Downer asked if the library was limited to the building, which was built as the home of Judge John Wilder in 1827 and opened as the library in 1909. Granquist said the board periodically asks if “we are in the right space.” She added that the building has no working bathroom, and the fact that the space is small and close to the river make adding one difficult.

The lack of a bathroom makes hosting weekly visits from Little School students and an aging adult population problematic, she added. For now, Granquist thanked Town Clerk and Treasurer Kim Seymour for the use of the Town Office building restroom for the librarian. Seymour said patrons use it also, which if fine with her.

Granquist also said that the board is open to considering moving the library. She added that the library’s professional librarian who would like a bigger building.

Board member Charles Goodwin said he was in favor of adding a location to supplement the existing library since the Wilder is in the village so “people could get to it” and the inside of the building is “spectacular.”

Granquist said the biggest expenditure is personnel, but it may be possible to adjust the schedule to accommodate an additional location. Downer said the library board might consider moving to a different location altogether.  Granquist said there is not a lot of meeting space in town and the library would “more than happy” to provide that.

The Select Board and the library board will continue to consider options.

Board chair Denis Benson said Lawrence Hill Road needs repaving.

In other business, board chair Denis Benson suggested that Road Foreman Almon Crandall be asked about the safety and cost of painting over graffiti on the underside of the bridge on Lawrence Hill Road. The graffiti has been there for a “couple of years,” according to Benson.

Benson also asked the board to consider repaving Lawrence Hill Road. He said new culverts, cracks and crevices have deteriorated the road surface. Repaving will be considered in the budget for next year.

Seymour asked permission to purchase a portable air conditioner for the listers and zoning administrator who work on the 2nd floor of the Town Office building. Board member Ann Fuji’i suggested looking at heat pumps as well to replace the aging, but still operational boiler. The board approved the purchase of an air conditioner not to exceed $450.

After an executive session to discuss the zoning administrator’s pay, the board decided to keep the pay at $19.67 per hour with the understanding that this could be increased to $20 per hour in July along with raises for the other town employees.

Select Board member Downer was hired as zoning administrator on May 15.

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  1. […] Chester Telegraph, which covers south-central Vermont, recently printed an article claiming that the Weston Select Board is considering a ramp for the Wilder Library. When asked what the board is really considering for the library, reporter Bruce Frauman said […]