At its Sept. 14 meeting, the Westfield City Council unanimously approved an issuance of bonds for $500,000 for the Westfield Washington Public Library.
The bonds are payable solely by the library, and once issued, are not expected to increase the tax levy for the library. The bonds will not count against the city’s constitutional debt limit, and the city is not obligated to repay the bonds.
Prior to the vote, WWPL Director Sheryl Sollars presented on what the funds would go to. Projects include an outreach vehicle to provide library services to assisted living facilities and community events and neighborhoods; a replacement of two 26-year-old boilers, using radio-frequency identification technology to increase library service efficiency; bay window repair, study room and storage repair, HVAC repair, front door weather prevention, replacing all fixtures with LED lighting and repairing and repaving the parking lot. The bonds also will allow the library to switch over to an IP phone system and pay its library feasibility study costs.
Sollars went into further detail about the outreach vehicle after the council asked questions about that bond item.
“It’s an oversized van that will book carts in it,” she said. “We will have books available. It will be Wi-Fi-enabled so when we take it to events, we can check out books to people, issue library cards. It’s a library on wheels basically if that explains it.”
The library staff already visits assisted living facilities to provide services, but the staff members currently use their own vehicles.