By Lauren Zaepfel
Town Center Focus Group Chairwoman Melissa A. Germann informed Wheatfield residents at Monday's Town Board meeting that a survey would be released in early January on whether or not the town should consider building its own library.
"We want to find out how the residents feel. Should we have our own library? Should we continue to pay another library for library services? And we'll go from there," she said.
The survey is planned to be released online and to the community on Jan. 4. Residents will have until March 1 to respond with their input on whether the town should continue "spending money in other municipalities or paying towards their own town library," Germann said.
Hard copies will be available at Town Hall, the Community Center, the Youth Center and the Senior Center, among other locations.
"We know we're not going to get an answer from every resident in Wheatfield, but we will get a better feel of where the people of Wheatfield stand by asking these questions," Town of Wheatfield Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe said. "This is a decision that the residents of Wheatfield will have to make at some point in time. One way or another we are going to probably be spending a fair amount more money. We think at some point it's going to become actually less for us to have our own library."
Currently, the Town of Wheatfield pays $175,000 to the City of North Tonawanda and Sanborn so that Wheatfield residents have access to library services from both the North Tonawanda Pubic Library and the Sanborn-Pekin Free Library.
The cost of building a 6,300-square-foot library is estimated to be around $2.2 million, along with an annual operating cost of approximately $360,000.
These estimates come from comparisons based on information from the Nioga Library System and other community libraries, including those of Lewiston, Medina and Newfane.