The Falmouth Library Board of Trustees talked of a possible opportunity a vacant lot near the North Falmouth Library might present at its meeting Tuesday, August 13.
“We were looking for a place,” trustee Margaret Finnell said of the 1.7-acre lot, which is for sale. “This is empty. It doesn’t have a building on it and is commercially zoned.”
Located at 538 North Falmouth Highway, the vacant lot is situated at the corner of County Road and North Falmouth Highway.
“It is not far from where we are currently,” library director Linda Collins said.
The lot is approximately 0.6 miles from the existing library on Chester Street, and is near the Shining Sea Bikeway northern terminus.
“This is a wonderful piece of land, in terms of its size, location and the fact that is is commercially zoned,” chairwoman Sylvia L. Szulkin said.
Ms. Szulkin added that a larger library could also serve as a community center for North Falmouth. Although the North Falmouth Village Association meets at the Village Junction on Old Main Road, a larger branch library could feature a larger meeting space.
Although the trustees met at the North Falmouth Branch on Tuesday, the building has no formal meeting room. They met around a table by the front entrance of the library.
“We’re not just thinking of it as a library, but as a community center as well,” she said.
In addition, Ms. Collins said, moving to a new location would allow the Chester Street parcel to return to its prior recreational use, expanding recreational space at Nye Park.
However, the property is listed at $1,395,000. The price was cut by $105,000 on June 30.
“If somebody wanted a tax break, they could donate it,” Ms. Finnell said.
If the town were to purchase the land, trustee Judith Fenwick said, then town administration must be kept in the loop.
“The town needs to be involved in this sort of proposal,” Ms. Fenwick said.
Ms. Collins agreed.
“We are keeping our minds open to what is available and what is possible,” she said. “We are looking at all options.”
She added that the grant funding is available for the purchase of land to build a public library. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners offers construction grants that can pay for approximately 50 percent of construction costs. The most recent grant cycle was in 2016-2017.
The trustees agreed that additional information was needed.
“We don’t know anything at this point—except that is is a very nice parcel of land that would be suitable for a library,” Ms. Szulkin said.