New Vineyard Library Expansion Celebrated

NEW VINEYARD - A wrinkled brown bag was held up as just one example of the community-wide support given towards a new building to house the public library during a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony held Saturday.

Bruce Turcotte, the New Vineyard Library Association's treasurer, said to the large crowd gathered, that one of the 85 individuals who donated money for the new building had put $1,000 in a brown bag labeled for the building fund and left it in the book return drop-off box. No name was attached.

A total of $311,000 was raised, with $227,000 for construction and the balance for items such as furnishings and better internet connection for the new library. The new building, which triples the space of the old library next to the town office, has been years in the making.

Those years were spent planning and submitting a total of 25 grant applications by Turcotte and Richard Hargreaves of the New Vineyard Library Association's expansion committee. Their work successfully netted a Community Development Block Grant for $180,000 and two USDA Rural Development grants totaling $50,000 for a new well, septic system and to provide Americans with Disabilities Act compliant accessibility.

Other grant awards came from the Davis Family Foundation for $20,000 and another $20,000 from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation; $15,000 from The Betterment Fund; $1,000 each from the Franklin Savings Bank Community Development Foundation, and the Camden Bank Development. The balance, roughly $24,000, was raised through individual contributions and lots of fund raisers.

Tammy Knight, development program manager for the state's Department of Economic and Community Development, which administers the federal block grants, noted the grants are "very competitive," but with the local involvement of so many of New Vineyard's 750 residents, "this one was a no-brainer," she said. Knight said she was particularly impressed with the number of people working on the building project, especially the fund raisers that included the Black Fly Bash and a beach party held in the middle of winter.

"This is the little town that could," Knight said smiling.

The building project's ground breaking was held last November with construction through the long winter by Aaron Newcomb Building Construction, Inc., of Holden, using plans developed by architect Jerry Nash of Strong.

"He (Nash) was like Johnny Appleseed; he gave us hope, gave us possibilities and the confidence to do it," Turcotte said. "He gave New Vineyard the belief in itself." The new library building opened on June 30.

Representatives of Maine's Congressional Delegation, Gov. Paul LePage and local legislators Sen. Tom Saviello and Rep. Russell Black, all noted the hard work and the importance of libraries as the center of any community. Afterward, Turcotte said of the project, "this was something New Vineyard really needed."


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