The new Unity Public Library at 38 School St. in Unity occupies the first floor of the building. Upstairs is a bed and breakfast. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file Buy this Photo

A Unity Public Library is one step closer to launch.

Residents voted by show of hands in a special town meeting Saturday to appropriate $50,000 in tax increment financing funds toward certain aspects of the library.

“It was really wonderful to see,” said Jean Bourg, one of the library’s co-founders and building owners. “The library is in three parts and the proposal for town meeting was for one part, which is business training and internet access supported by the TIF ordinance.”

Bourg and Melissa Bastien purchased a property in downtown Unity at 38 School St. in December and have been renovating the space for the library. Built in 2012, the library building is being offered by the owners to the library at no cost to the town except for utilities. The other two parts of the budget include the general adult collection and the children’s collection, which are to be grant funded. Each part of the library and its programming will have a different room.

A target open date depends on shelving which depends on funding, Bourg said. Grants are in the process of being reviewed and new ones are written. The projected opening date, with a limited collection, is late fall.

“We will be running a capital campaign to pay for shelving,” Bourg said. “The TIF fund money pays for a little bit of shelving, a small percentage of that.”

Profits from two Airbnb units upstairs will go back to the library, which will receive the building from Bourg and Bastien following its lease.

The special town meeting was done by open floor ballot, and all but two of the 19 articles passed. A proposed marijuana ordinance did not pass, nor did a cost recovery ordinance from the Unity Fire Department.

Bourg attended an Economic Development Committee meeting Monday night and agreed to a review of the budget by the committee as it is written for TIF eligibility.

Parts of the budget are 100% on par for TIF eligibility, Bourg said, including job training and internet. Other parts of the budget may be pro-rated for TIF eligibility.

“I think we’re on our way,” Bourg said. “The next EDC meeting we’ll have a look at the budget I proposed.”

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