New leadership will steer the Woodstock Public Library into the next chapter of planning for a new building after the razor-thin defeat of a $5.8 million bond.
The Woodstock Library board voted on December 17 to have a dialogue with the community during the next few months. The intention of these dialogues is to hear from new voices and to understand why people voted either yes or no on the bond.
Woodstock Library officials will hold a series of small group discussions via videoconferencing better to engage with the community after the narrow defeat of the $5.8-million bond in November.
A new approach would be salutary, most agreed. The community remains deeply divided, and the various participants deeply suspicious of each other.
Election night results show the bond down 78 votes and too close to call with 1581 Yes and 1659 No. The tally includes early voting results.
In a non-dramatic Woodstock Library election, preliminary results show the budget passed 306-121, and the two unopposed candidates were elected to the board as of the October 1 election night.
Woodstock’s planning board has agreed to drop its challenge to the Woodstock Library’s lead-agency status for the new building if it agrees to several conditions, including a review by the planning consultant.
The Woodstock Library’s been one of the more contentious library districts in the region, battling for support as dreams of a space to match its reputation rise into the millions of dollars.
Design updates bring the cost estimate for a new Woodstock library building to $2000 less than five million dollars, down from $6.9 million originally proposed by architect Stephen Tilly.
Woodstock Library trustees approved the schematic design and the first payment for the next phase of planning for a new building and approved staff pay while the library remains closed, at their March 19 meeting, the first one held via videoconference, which may become commonplace in the new normal foisted upon us by COVID-19.