Plan for new library in Blue Point may come with hefty tax hike

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BLUE POINT -

Residents of Blue Point who fought plans to turn a convent into a rehab center may soon pay the price for that decision. The convent could be turned into a library, which would come with a hefty tax hike.

The current Bayport-Blue Point Library has been located on Blue Point Avenue since 1938. Some residents with the Blue Point Community Coalition say the building is outdated and too small.

Residents will vote on Dec. 6 on whether to approve a plan to buy the St. Ursula Center convent on Middle Road and turn it into a 29,000-square-foot library, which would replace the current building.

Under the proposal, homeowners in the Bayport-Bluepoint library district would pay $200 more in taxes a year.

“I don't mind paying the extra money. I think it's something this community needs,” says James Powers.

Library director Mike Firestone says the old library needs a new home for a number of reasons.

“This was built pre-American With Disabilities Act. First and foremost, we're not handicapped-accessible. We have heating, ventilation, air-conditioning systems that's 30-plus years old,” he told News 12.

Some residents, including 83-year-old Patricia Carpenter, say they can't afford to pay higher taxes for a new library.

“I'm retired. I'm on a fixed income and I think it's crazy,” says Carpenter.

Residents will have a chance to learn more about the proposal at two community meetings on Oct. 24 and Nov. 29 at the library.

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