In a press conference held Wednesday night, First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker announced that the Old Town Hall would be demolished to make way for the required 16 parking spaces that the library needs to expand.
“The Board of Selectmen has studied the Old Town Hall issue for over two years, and there is simply no other way to create the additional spaces that are required to complete the library renovation,” Knickerbocker said.
Knickerbocker said that the original back up plan to put library parking along the west side of the Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center is no longer viable, due to many factors, including the placement of the emergency generator that feeds electricity to the building.
"Taking down Old Town Hall not only creates the space needed to comply with our zoning regulations,provide far more tax revenue to the town," the first selectman said.
The decision to demolish the building was based on a 3-0 vote by the Selectmen.
Information released at the press conference states, “The final phase of Bethel’s library renovation, which began over six years ago, is finally about to begin,” Bethel First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker said.
The $2.46 million that is needed to complete the project will not come from taxpayer money, Knickerbocker said. Grants and private donations will reportedly will pave the way for the renovation to begin.
Knickerbocker thanked all of the volunteers for their hard work and effort during the long capital fund raising campaign. “These include many past and present members of the library’s board of directors, the volunteers of the Friends of the Bethel Public Library and the many, many patrons, businesses, donors and taxpayers who have made this project possible and want to see this renovation completed.”
Construction will commence in June and is expected to be complete by early 2013.