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Epping's library: Another year's delay

Given the town's financial needs, the long wait for a new Epping library might well be stretched out for another year whether library trustees like it or not. The best option would seem to be putting off the town vote for another year, when the budget picture is clearer and the ballot less crowded.

Library trustees understandably want a bigger, new building. They've put a lot of effort into coming up with a plan to obtain one and build a new park to boot. But the town has a need for more water, selectmen say, and they want to buy land to provide it. The school budget is likely on the rise, and the town is without a home for its recreation department thanks to the earthquake this fall.

Though the library plan sounds lovely, voters are likely to see the other needs as more pressing. Selectmen say approving all the requests this spring would lead to a $2 tax rate increase. Do library trustees really think the voters will go for that?

It would make more sense to postpone the library vote and spend the next year in a fundraising campaign to offset as much of the $2.3 million cost as possible. Coming to the voters next year with money in the bank and a lower amount to borrow is a better plan than asking for a $2 tax rate hike this spring.

Eric Church
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