Bulldozer at construction site of the Arbor Hill/West Hill Public Library
Everyone is talking about the giant stimulus bill signed into law on February 17 - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 - the stimulus gives big tax breaks and ships hundreds of billions of dollars to the states. Yet the work you see being done in these pictures didn't come via Washington D.C. ...nope. It came via the taxpayers of the City of Albany who voted in February 2007 to float a historic $29.1 million bond to renovate or build 5 branch libraries spread among several neighborhoods in Albany.
The economy is in a serious recession. Working people are getting their wages cut and some are losing their jobs. Yet in Albany we've got proof for the adage that for every dark cloud there is a silver lining. For the past ten months while the economy has been sinking, the Albany Public Library has been going to market for bids on Branch Improvement Plan construction projects. The resulting construction bids have come in under budget. These competitive bids are like a double bonus... local trades and local contractors are keeping local people working - AND - staying under budget keeps Albany taxpayers happy due to a small or no increase to the annual Library tax levy.
Cleaning the facade of the John A. Howe Public Library in Albany, NY
Not only will the people of Albany soon have new or renovated branch libraries in their neighborhoods, but in the midst one of the most serious recessions in decades there are several on-going construction projects employing local people and paying good wages.
Workers moving form pieces at the Delaware Ave Public Library in Albany, NY
So watch for renovated branches to open during the end of 2009 and new branches to open in mid 2010. If you have questions about the Branch Improvement Plan, please feel free to contact me at 489-2393 or firstname.lastname@example.org