On behalf of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development and the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, we want to stress the importance of the proposed expansion of the Crawford Public Library that will be decided by public referendum on Thursday, August 9. A new library in the downtown area of Monticello will serve not only its own village, but also surrounding residents of Bethel, Forestburgh and Thompson.
Countless studies have proven that libraries lend themselves to increased literacy and economic development within the communities they serve. However, the current Crawford Library facility is unfit to accommodate both the inventory and traffic that it currently holds, and quality of resources and programs will continue to deteriorate if new accommodations are not provided. The new library, which would be located at 479 Broadway, will offer the following amenities and improvements:
• Twice as much library space for books, programs/meetings and study spaces
• A parking lot with nearly triple the amount of space that can accommodate handicapped vehicles and guests
• Handicapped accessibility throughout the building
• Space outdoors for performances, meetings and leisure
• More computers and Internet access for all areas of the library
It is no secret that downtown Monticello has been striving to revitalize itself for some time, but the necessary steps just have not been put into action. From an economic development perspective, this project will create a new and exciting anchor for Broadway, and create an environment that can be leveraged to attract new business while strengthening existing ones. In addition, this multi-million-dollar investment will fuel numerous construction jobs in the upcoming year; not to mention perhaps the most important aspect of the project: expanded opportunities for our community’s children.
This new library has presented itself as the perfect opportunity to take a step in the right direction for our area for our current and, most importantly, future residents.
Allan Scott, President/CEO, Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development
Terri Ward, President/CEO, Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce