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CDBG grant to help fund library expansion
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It appears the Soldiers Grove Public Library expansion project is poised to get underway with the recent approval of a large state grant.

The Village of Soldiers Grove will receive a $274,000 Community Development Block Grant for Public Facilities from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to renovate its library, the state agency announced last week.

The village is renovating the library to address accessibility, update restrooms, build a new entrance and purchase new computers, the WEDC noted in making the announcement. The expansion will include adding the remodeled space of the former pharmacy, which is adjacent to the current library space.

“It has pushed us over the top of the mountain and it looks like were headed toward a strong finish,” said Cele Wolf, the very happy Soldiers Gove Librarian, upon receiving news of the grant’s approval.

The library already had raised more than $250,000 through donations, pledges, local grants and fundraising efforts. The total amount raised also included the $40,000 approved by the Soldiers Grove Village Board for the purchase of the former pharmacy building.

The proposed project, including the purchase of the building, is estimated to cost $681,500. That leaves about another $156,000 to be raised.

Fundraising efforts will begin with a celebration of “how far we’ve come already,” Wolf said. The celebration will be a karaoke benefit scheduled for Saturday, March 24 at the Soldiers Grove American Legion Post. The karaoke will be presented by Ann and Dan Everson.

Anyone wishing to help make the library expansion a reality can mail their donation to Soldiers Grove  Public Library, PO Box 6, Soldiers Grove, WI, 54665. Anyone with questions about the project is welcome to call the library at 608-624-5815. 

Governor Scott Walker said the state assistance in this project is an important investment in the library service in Soldiers Grove, according to a WEDC news release on the grant approval.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a versatile financing tool for general-purpose local units of government in need of funds to undertake needed infrastructure and public building projects.  The program is designed to enhance the vitality of a community by undertaking public investment that contributes to its overall community and economic development, according to the WEDC.