POLL: Should the Kidder Library be sold?
At the special Milton Town Meeting on Monday, February 25, Town Meeting Members will vote on the transfer of the Kidder Library property (article 2).
Do you think the Kidder Library should be transferred to the Trustees of the Milton Public Library in order to be sold?
Take the poll:
The text of Article 2 reads:
To see if the Town will vote to transfer the former Kidder Branch Library property at 101 Blue Hills Parkway from the Trustees of the Milton Public Library for library purposes to the Trustees of the Milton Public Library for the purpose of sale of said property, and further, to authorize the Trustees of the Milton Public Library to sell said property for such consideration and upon such terms as the Trustees of the Public Library deem appropriate;
and to act on anything relating thereto.
Submitted by the Trustees of the Milton Public Library
…that the Town vote to transfer the former Kidder Branch Library property at 101 Blue Hills Parkway from the Trustees of the Milton Public Library for library purposes to the Trustees of the Milton Public Library for the purpose of sale of said property, and further, to authorize the Trustees of the Milton Public Library to sell said property for such consideration and upon such terms as the Trustees of the Public
Library deem appropriate.
This article was brought forward by the Trustees of the Public Library to allow the Trustees to sell the former Kidder Branch Library property, located at 101 Blue Hill Parkway, that has housed a preschool since 2009 and is currently not used for library purposes. This property was deeded to the Town in 1928 by the Kidder House Association for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Town and the library branch was built in 1929. The land is located in a residence C Zoning District. The Kidder Library has not been used for its original purpose since 1996 and underwent renovations from 2007-2009, however, more extensive renovations would be needed for this structure to be utilized by the town.
The Trustees, beginning in 2015, started looking to sell property and hosted numerous Town departments to determine if there was interest from them and they also held multiple public forums for the community to offer input. The Town departments, including the school administration, have determined they cannot use the building for any current projects.
The property has been appraised at $1.2 million per the Trustees and their goal is to utilize this money for other library projects. It is important to note that with the sale, the Trustees must put the proceeds into a trust and may only use the interest (estimated at $30,000 annually) for proper public library purposes, per the deed and a Final Decree of the Massachusetts Judicial Court.
The property is a drain on the Trustees, who are currently acting as a landlord and the buildings current use does not further the mission of the library. Any renovations needed to fully utilize this building are above the annual income received and would require additional funding from the Town. However, this is a Town resource and quite possibly the last of the larger land gifts to the Town from one of its residents.
This article was discussed at length at the Warrant Committee with many questions raised about who it could be sold to, whether it could be used for another function for the Town and whether this resource should be sold at all.
The vote showed how difficult the decision was to many on the committee in order to determine the best resolution for this article: 7 voted in favor, 5 against, and it should be noted that there were 2 absentees from the committee and the Chair did not vote.