Falmouth voters backed supplemental borrowing for a long-planned library expansion project Tuesday, 4,295 to 3,108.

Residents also approved two Town Charter amendments, Town Clerk Ellen Planer said.

Falmouth Memorial Library trustees learned last summer that they will need at least $1 million more to complete the expansion and renovation project, which received initial voter approval in 2014.

Library leaders said they would raise $500,000 privately if the town could borrow an additional $500,000 to support the project. Four years ago, voters agreed to borrow $2.81 million for library construction that was originally estimated to cost $5.6 million.

“We’re very excited by the outcome and want to sincerely thank all those who came out to support the library,” said Steven Knapp, president of the library board.

“(Tuesday’s) vote demonstrates how important the library is to so many and the value it adds to the community. We have a lot of work in front of us, but this was a significant step toward building the library our town needs,” Knapp said.

The goal of the project is to enlarge the library to 18,000 square feet and provide a separate youth services wing and reading room, along with increased access to technology, among other updates.

Library leaders have told the Town Council that the cost overrun was caused by a “perfect storm” of increased construction costs, labor shortages and unexpected site-related expenses.

On its website, the library pledged to “continue to work with its architect and construction manager to further bring costs down on the project without sacrificing the project’s integrity.

“Any cost savings will be shared equally between the town and the library, thus reducing the bond amount,” the statement said.

Voters on Tuesday also overwhelmingly approved both charter amendments. One dealt mostly with a variety of administrative changes, including barring employees of the school department or library from running for Town Council. That measure passed easily, 4,031 to 1,472.

The other charter question sought approval to raise the $1 million threshold for requiring a referendum vote on capital expenditures to $2 million. That measure also passed, 3,205 to 2,483.

Kate Irish Collins can be contacted at 710-2336 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: KIrishCollins


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