MOOERS — Construction on a new Mooers Free Library and community center here has been halted.
Instead, a committee formed by Town Councilman Earl Robinson after the council’s November meeting is exploring different possibilities for the library’s location, according to Mooers Town Supervisor Cory Ross.
The council is scheduled to report back to the Town Council at its January meeting, he said.
Another library committee was formed this past summer to address the same issues, but it met only once and has since gone by the wayside.
Now, two possible locations are being discussed, both of which are on the 6-acre property where the Mooers Town Offices and Fire Department sit.
That complex is L-shaped, with the fire station located in the long arm of the L and Town Offices and courtroom as the shorter arm, toward the back of the property.
The combination library and community center could be built either as an extension of the courtroom, parallel to Route 11, or behind the Town Offices building, as originally planned, Ross said.
Unanimous votes by the Town Council at both the September and October meetings had approved construction of the new facility.
Before the project ground to a standstill, the town had had a soil test done for the new building’s septic system and had also cleared and leveled the construction site, Ross said.
Public outcry prompted big turnouts at council sessions, and the Fire Department previously asked the council to build the library elsewhere or not at all.
Fire officials worry that putting the new building on the Route 11 grounds would take up too much space and therefore threaten their annual Labor Day celebration, which Fire Department President Jeff Menard said is its biggest fundraiser and a popular community event.
Many residents, along with firefighters, Menard said, would like to see renovations made to the current library instead of new construction. The renovations would include adding handicap-accessible restrooms, a ramp and a lift.