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NEW LIBRARY ON GOODRICH ROAD GETS KEY APPROVAL

Planners of a new library in Clarence this week won a crucial nod of approval from the head of the county library system, and are poised for a final push on county and local levels to get the new facility built.

In a 45-minute meeting with Daniel L. Walters, director of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Clarence library officials received the green light on revised plans for a 16,931-square-foot library to be built on Goodrich Road, near Town Hall.

According to town and county library officials, Walters' approval of the revised plans -- which show a redesigned floor plan and reconfigured doorways -- means that the County Library Board of Trustees may vote on the new library as early as Sept. 17. The Town Board also is expected to vote soon on the new library, which would replace the town's existing 6,600-square-foot library on Main Street.

Walters was unavailable to comment, but Deputy Director Diane Chrisman called the meeting with town library officials "very productive."

"It addressed some of the concerns we had expressed prior to the meeting," Ms. Chrisman said. Besides a rearrangement of floor space, she said, the revised plans call for newly designed window placement to capitalize on views of the Town Hall campus' green space and pond.

Town library officials said they hope to bring the proposed plans before the Town Board for a vote soon after the county Board of Trustees votes on the project. An artist's rendering of the planned building will be done soon, said Jane Sweet, chairwoman of the town's Library Board.

"This is one more hurdle we've covered," Ms. Sweet said. "We're anxious to put the shovel in the ground."

Town and county library officials said no cost estimates on the library project are yet available, but that the town's engineering firm is currently working on calculating the costs of the proposed building.

On the county level, Ms. Chrisman said, the county library board will soon be deciding how to split up $250,000 in funding for opening-day book and furnishings purchases. The money is to be divided between Clarence's project and a 5,000-square-foot library planned in North Collins, she said.

Clarence library planners are expected to submit to county library officials a plan showing how the town will raise additional money for an opening-day collection and furnishings, above and beyond the share of county money the town will receive, Ms. Chrisman said.

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