South

NORWELL

Voters to decide whether to pay for new library

Voters in Norwell will decide in December whether to spend an estimated $15.4 million to build a new public library that would be almost three times the size of the existing one and handicapped accessible, with double the parking.

The town received a $6.4 million state grant toward the cost in July -- on the condition that local voters agree to pay their share. Officials estimate that the owner of a home assessed at $600,000 will pay an average of $153 more annually in property taxes over 20 years.

The first vote will come at a Dec. 4 special Town Meeting, where two-thirds of the attendants must approve exceeding borrowing limits for the project. If that happens, a special town election on the same question will be held on Dec. 9.

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Norwell has been working on getting a new library for about a decade. If approved, the new structure would be built on the same site as the current library and could open by June 2020.

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Features include a large children’s room, separate space for young adults, a local history room, study rooms, and a large meeting room.

The existing library is approximately 8,500 square feet; the new one would have about 22,300 square feet of space on one floor.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.