Westfield council OKs appropriation for library


City officials in Westfield have signaled their support to appropriate more than $1.9 million as part of a project involving a new Westfield Washington Public Library building.

The Westfield City Council voted 6-0 during its Aug. 8 meeting to approve $1,942,500 in funding for the library, which plans to build a 55,000-square-foot building in downtown Westfield. City council member Scott Willis recused himself from voting on the matter.

Officials plan to break ground on the project this fall and expect to have the building, which will be located at the southwest corner of Park and Poplar streets, completed in the first quarter of 2024.

Westfield Washington Public Library Executive Director Sheryl Sollars told the council that she was seeking an additional appropriation to spend the proceeds of the sale from the current building to purchase the land for the new library building.

The new building will also have township office space available and will feature a community room with capacity for 200 people, officials said previously. The library is covering its construction and land costs with a $16.7 million general obligation bond.

The township’s portion is not to exceed $5.2 million and is being funded through a build-operate-transfer contract that allows the project to be built without impacting residents’ tax bills.