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Central Library, 3 others will get state grants

Four libraries in Erie County will share $740,000 in state construction and improvement grants this year.

*The Central Library in Buffalo will receive $617,970 to match local funds for energy-saving improvements, asbestos abatement and space reconfiguration, said Mary Jean Jakubowski, director of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library.

The asbestos abatement will take place on the second floor, which has been closed to the public, and will not affect library services, Jakubowski said.

The money will also be used to enhance security.

The library has a plan to reconfigure the building's second floor so that space can be leased out and so that other collaborations with cultural organizations can be pursued.

*$108,200 to replace a flat roof and restore a peaked roof at the Aurora Town Library. The project, which will include code-compliant insulation, is expected to lower energy costs.

*$8,332 to replace 2,100 square feet of sidewalk and improve handicapped accessibility at the West Seneca Public Library.

*$4,847 to replace cracked, uneven sidewalks and crumbling curbs at the Eden Library.

The state construction grants are awarded through the Office of the New York State Library and can be used to match up to 50 percent of eligible construction expenses.

State Sen. Timothy Kennedy, a member of the Senate Committee on Libraries, announced the projects along with Jakubowski and other local officials Thursday.