It’s three years since New Jersey voters approved $125 million in bonds to be issued for critical improvements to libraries across the state. But, while many residents rue the alacrity with which money is borrowed and spent on their behalf, some have chafed at the delay in delivering the promised spending on library upgrades, much of which was put down to the need to draw up regulations for the related bond act.
That wait is now over: On Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy recommended to the Legislature a list of 38 projects for the first round of funding ($87.5 million) from the Library Construction Bond Act. The projects are in 16 counties and encompass everything from major renovation to safety, HVAC and technology upgrades. All applicants were required to identify a 50% match to fund their projects. A second round of awards is planned for the first quarter of 2021.