May sends letter seeking extension for library construction projects

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SYRACUSE — State Sen. Rachel May, D-53, Syracuse, has sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, urging him to issue an executive order extending the timeline for active library construction projects under the New York Library Construction Aid Program by 12 months.

The New York Library Construction Aid Program runs on a three-year implementation term. For projects that were awarded as part of the FY17-18 budget, their “due date” of June 30 is looming. Projects started in FY 2018-2019 and FY 2019-2020 face similar issues as they undergo construction delays.

To be considered completed, all funds must be encumbered, and all approved project activities must be finished. With the COVID-19 closures, compliance with these completion terms is impossible.

“Libraries have always been a cornerstone in our communities, and during this pandemic they have stepped up in extraordinary ways to support our neighbors,” said May. “The extreme circumstances COVID-19 has created will impact institutions for years to come. We must take measures to protect our libraries and ensure they are not punished for a situation outside of their control.”

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