Frankford library project will not receive waiver from town

The Frankford Town Council decided this week not to waive building permit fees for the expansion of the Frankford Public Library, citing that similar exceptions had not been made in the past.

“The fire company, in 2007, spent approximately $3,000 on permit fees,” noted Town Administrator Terry Truitt. She also stated that the Presbyterian Church had paid fees for a paving project in 2006, as had Frankford United Methodist Church, and that Antioch Church had paid more than $500 for building permit fees for a renovation and addition in 2004.

“There’s really no precedent that’s been set,” said Truitt. Kyle Gulbronson of URS, the town’s engineering firm, said there are no provisions in the town code for waving fees and noted that the Town had not ever waived a fee for an institution in the past.

He said that, with the conditional use application and the building permit, fees for the library would be an estimated $4,800. No representatives of the library were in attendance at the Sept. 10 council meeting.

In January of this year, the staff at the Frankford Public Library learned that they were two steps closer to making their dream of enlarging their space a reality, when they received notice that they would be receiving a Longwood Foundation grant in the amount of $150,000 and a Crystal Trust grant in the amount of $50,000.

Current plans call for their current 2,000 feet to be renovated, an additional 4,000 square feet to be built and another 4,000 square feet (which would be built as a second story) should they need it. The front door of the building would move to Green Street, and there would be added parking.

Resident Greg Welch asked if there wasn’t some way the Town could donate to the library in lieu of waiving the fees.

“You had talked about a donation of some sort before. Couldn’t you donate money in the same amount, because the library does benefit the Town as a whole?” he asked.

Truitt explained that there had been no line item placed in the Town’s budget for donations of any kind. She asked how, once the Town starting giving grants, they would determine which organizations would receive them and which wouldn’t, and how they would do it without raising taxes, considering grants are not included in the budget.

Also at the Sept. 10 meeting, Gulbronson announced that the Town had received a Department of Agriculture grant of $1,000 for trees at the town park. The Town has also hired a part-time maintenance person.