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Library renovations fully funded

JACKSON – Complete funding for renovations and an addition to the Northampton Memorial Library is in place here at no cost to the county.

At their Monday meeting, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners accepted a letter of conditions from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development for a $108,000 grant.

The grant, along with a $433,902 contribution from the Golden Leaf Foundation, will pay for the total project, one that comes with a $541,902 price tag.

Before the commissioner’s decision, a public hearing was held to take citizen comments on the project.

County Manager Wayne Jenkins brought the letter of conditions before the board.

After explaining the funding breakdown, Jenkins noted that the work would include a 2,596 square foot addition to the library, allow the functioning system in the building to be “green” and more energy efficient and additional space would be created for more public computers. Outside the library, 12 additional vehicle parking spots will also be included in the project.

“That is great news for Northampton County,” said Commission Chair Fannie Greene.

“Absolutely,” added Commission Vice Chair James Hester. Greene called for public comment, but none was offered.

Commissioner Robert Carter commended Area Specialist Susan Christensen and USDA Rural Development “for stepping up with a $108,000 grant.”

Christensen, who was in attendance at the meeting, said USDA Rural Development was proud to help out on the project. She noted the public computers that would be added to the library and how library facilities are often the only place to go, especially during times like the current economic situation.

“We love helping folks in Northampton County,” she said.

After the public hearing was closed, Hester made a motion to accept the letter of conditions as well as to approve a resolution in relation to the document; Carter offered a second.

The motion passed without objection.