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The application process for State Aid for Library Construction is entirely online. New user? Create Your Account.

Required for all applications:

Narratives

Project Narrative

The project narrative is divided into five sections, as follows. The narrative must be filled out in the application itself, and not uploaded as an attachment.

Project Abstract

The project abstract is a brief description of the project, limited to 150 characters. Provide some level of detail for what will be happening in the project. (“Memorial Library Renovation” or “Memorial Library Energy Upgrades” are not appropriate abstracts.) This (and the project title) will be published on a public website in the future, so please ensure it is written in complete sentences and spell-checked.

Description of Project

Include a complete description of the proposed project for which funding is being requested. If this project is part of a larger project during the funding period, please briefly describe the entire project. Describe construction activities including the intended physical alteration of the building.

Impact of Project

Describe how the project will address one or more of the following State Aid for Library Construction priorities:

  1. Increased effectiveness of library service due to increased and/or improved building space and capacity
  2. More efficient utilization of the library building resulting in such economies as energy conservation and increased staff efficiency
  3. Improved access to and use of building services by all library users, including those with physical disabilities
  4. Provision of library services to geographically isolated or economically disadvantaged communities

Timetable

Provide a detailed timetable, indicating the projected start date, the duration of the proposed project, the anticipated beginning and ending dates for all contracted services, and the schedules for all other significant activities impacting the project. The start date and end date in the narrative timetable must match the start date and end date in the application.

Budget Narrative

Description of budget requests and vendor costs. Describe all items entered under the project budget. The budget narrative should reflect the project budget entries and attached cost estimates. If vendor quotes contain options, the narrative must indicate the options chosen and the associated dollar value.

Total figures in the budget narrative should be rounded to the nearest dollar (example: $2,749.36 to $2,749). Aid awards will be paid in whole dollar amounts. All information for the total project costs must match the cost estimates and the figure in the application.

Budget

The Budget is a required form found within the construction application portal. It is divided across three types of purchases:

More information on these categories comes through the Grants Finance website.

Purchased Services

  • Includes Consultant Services (professional and technical advice) and Contracted Services (professional/technical activities performed by commercial vendors or qualified individuals)
  • Any supplies that are purchased by a contractor/vendor to be installed or used by them for the project should be included here (likely included in contractors’ bids).

Supplies and Materials

  • Includes all supplies and materials to be purchased for use during the project
  • These are items that the library purchases (such as directly from a hardware store), not items that the contractor buys and installs, etc.

Equipment

  • Equipment is any single item that has a unit cost of $5,000 or more that will be purchased (directly by the library) for use during the project.
  • Example: 1 electric generator costing $5,500 could be considered equipment. 6 computers totaling $5,400 is not equipment (each computer = $900).

Bids, Estimates, and Quotes

Bids should contain all relevant information pertaining to the work and/or the sale, including:

  1. Contractor or vendor’s name, address, phone/email, etc.
  2. Description of work and/or items being purchased
  3. Total cost due to the contractor or vendor (sales tax exempt)

If different options or upgrades are offered on the bid, circle what is being purchased and circle the total cost for that bid/quote. The total cost for each bid/quote should match what is written in the budget narrative for that contractor/vendor.

An architecture firm cannot provide a bid/price for the work to be done unless they are doing the work themselves. Bids must come directly from a company that does that type of work (i.e., parking lot paving bid from company that installs parking lots).

Ensure that the words “repair” and “maintenance” do not appear anywhere in the bids/quotes.

Pre-Project Photos

The purpose of pre-project photos is to show what work and area of the library is being proposed in the project narratives. Be sure that photos for the entire project have been provided, and that each component is represented and visible.

Examples:

  1. If a library is replacing the roof and also replacing 12 light fixtures in the nonfiction section, there should be 1 or more photos of the roof, and all 12 lights should be visible in the light fixture photos (multiple light fixtures can be included in a single photo).
  2. If a library is installing 3 new security cameras where no cameras yet exist, photos should be provided (can be marked up with X’s or circles) to show the locations where the cameras will be installed.

All photos must be compiled into one document, such as a Word doc or a PDF, and should be labeled/captioned to identify the project component. All photos should be clear (not blurry) and large enough to see component details.

Short Environmental Assessment Forms

The State Environmental Quality Review Act requires certain entities, including state agencies, public benefit corporations, and libraries to evaluate the potential environmental consequences of certain activities and to minimize adverse impacts.

In most cases, applicants for State Aid for Library Construction will be completing the Short Environmental Forms (SEAF). The SEAF is in three parts:

All three parts must be completed, signed and attached to your construction application. Also, a map of the project location must be attached to Part 1. NYSDEC provides the EAF Mapper to help applicants answer some of the Part 1 questions for the EAF. The EAF Mapper quickly and efficiently finds some of the location-based information needed in Part 1 from multiple DEC data sources.

Smart Growth Form (PDF)

All applicants must certify that their proposed projects comply with the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act, which became law in 2010.

FS-10

The FS-10 form must be printed from the online construction application portal. Please provide three (3) blank copies, all signed in blue ink with original signatures. Libraries should submit the forms to their system contact. Systems will submit the forms the Division of Library Development.

Payee Information Form and Substitute Form W-9

As of April 4, 2022, a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) has replaced the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number.

If a library has been assigned a DUNS number and ever registered the DUNS in the federal (not state) SAM system (SAM.gov), the library should have been automatically issued a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). However, SAM.gov created a UEI for both active and expired registrations. Please sign into your SAM.gov account to view your assigned UEI.

If the library has never been assigned a DUNS in the past, the library will need to apply for a UEI, however, as of now the library does not need to take the next step and register the UEI with SAM.gov. The UEI does not expire and it is free of charge to apply.

The Substitute Form W-9 should be signed in blue ink (1 copy only) and submitted to the system contact. Systems will submit the forms to the Division of Library Development.

If you have any further questions about UEI, please contact us.

Proof of Available Funds

“Available Funds” can include checking and saving accounts, money market accounts, CDs, or other liquid assets that the library can use to pay their balance of library share. SAM Grant Funds may not be used.

The library can demonstrate its ability to pay by attaching bank or account statements that, when totaled, equal or exceed the library share dollar amount. A letter from a bank manager on official letterhead is acceptable if it states that there are funds available to cover the specific library share dollar amount. Alternatively, the library Board President or treasurer can submit a letter, on library letterhead, if it states that there are funds available to cover the specific library share dollar amount.

Bank statements and/or letters should be dated no earlier than a couple months prior to the project application.

Prevailing Wage

Public libraries, as described in Section 253(2) of NYS Education Law, are subject to the prevailing wage law. Free Association libraries are usually not subject to such law, unless they are involved in construction contracts that take place on municipal property or involve municipal use. In the case of Free Association Libraries, prudence would dictate that such libraries contact the Department of Labor and request a determination as to the applicability of the prevailing wage law in the particular circumstances then present. Projects subject to the prevailing wage law require the payment of certain minimum wages for all laborers, workers and mechanics, and it is vital that such information be provided to any party bidding on such a project.

Assurances Form (PDF)

All questions must be answered. Applicant must indicate compliance with the Assurances by checking all appropriate boxes.

  1. Section 1 applies to all libraries, and all three boxes must be checked.
  2. Section 2 on the acquisition of real estate has four certification boxes that must be checked by all libraries that are purchasing real estate.
  3. The third section applies to all libraries, and one of the two boxes must be checked, either if the library (a) owns its building (or the building is owned by a school district or BOCES) OR (b) the library building is leased by the library.
  4. In the fourth section, all libraries must answer the SAM question.
  5. The final assurance applies to all libraries and must be checked.

The President of the Library/System Board of Trustees must sign the Authentication of Application. The assurances form is submitted as a signed PDF attachment.

Relevant to some project applications:

State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Approval Documentation

New York’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), is part of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. The mission of SHPO is to help communities identify, evaluate, preserve and revitalize their historic, archaeological and cultural resources.

Conditions:

  • The library building is 50 years old or older
  • The project involves ground disturbance or demolition

If one or both of the previous conditions are met the library needs to consult the updated Memorandum of Understanding and Attachment 1 to see if there is a qualifying exemption from pursuing a SHPO approval letter. If the project work is exempt, the reason should be noted in the SHPO exemption box in the application.

If the project work does not qualify for an exemption the library must obtain a SHPO approval letter before applying for Construction Aid. SHPO approval letters take a minimum of 30 days to receive. However, they often take 6-8 weeks once the request is received by SHPO.

Please note that even if a library is not designated on the State or National Registry, or eligible for these Registries, the project may require SHPO's approval if there is ground disturbance. Further information on the ground disturbance requirements is outlined in the updated Memorandum of Understanding.

Find more information on SHPO requirements.

Lease Agreements

Please note that this item does not apply if:

  1. the library owns its site and building, or
  2. the library building is owned by a school district or BOCES

If the library does not own its site and/or building, it must provide written proof that the library is guaranteed use of the building for at least ten years from the completion of the construction project. In most cases, a lease will suffice. If the library does not have a written lease, or the lease expires sooner than the specified time frame, they should provide a letter from the building owner. The letter should state that the library will have use of the building for at least ten years from the completion of the construction project and that the owner is aware of and gives permission for the construction project. The letter should be signed, dated, and on official letterhead, if possible.

The lease letter must affirm the following:

  1. The building will be leased/otherwise legally available to be used as a library for a minimum of 10 years from the completion date of the project.
  2. There is full awareness of and agreement with the construction project implications.
  3. The owner has the legal authority to approve the improvement of the space.
  4. The building is open to the public.

Municipal Consent for Site/Building Acquisition Projects

If a library is purchasing property (vacant land or a building), then provide documentation from the local municipality, on their letterhead, that the proposed use of the site/building that is being acquired is allowable according to local land use.

More information regarding this Act and its compliance criteria from the NYS Department of State (PDF).

Completed certification forms should be submitted as PDF attachments. Please include the application project number on the form.

Certificate of Occupancy

If a Certificate of Occupancy is required, a copy must be submitted before the final 10% payment is issued.

Coordinated Projects List of Libraries (Excel)

Each member library building must be listed separately as part of the Coordinated Project application and an Excel file must be uploaded to the online portal detailing the library buildings involved in the project, the costs and recommended award.

SED Office of Facilities Planning Certificate of Project Approval

The State Education Department is charged by the Secretary of State [19NYCRR441.2(d)] with the “administration and enforcement of the NYS Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code with respect to buildings, premises and equipment in the custody of, or activities related thereto, undertaken by School Districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services.”

If the library building or site is owned by a School District or BOCES and the total State Aid for Library Construction project cost will be $10,000 or more, the applicant must submit plans and specifications to the State Education Department’s Office of Facilities Planning (OFP) for review and approval. The OFP Certificate of Project Approval, including any OFP-issued Building Permit, must be included as a .PDF attachment. Plans should be submitted to OFP as soon as a project is identified.

The designator “school district public library” does not necessarily indicate ownership of a library building by the school district. It refers only to the boundaries of population served by the library. OFP approval is required only if the building or site is owned by a school district or BOCES.

Questions regarding the OFP approval process should be directed to OFP at 518-474-3906. Calls will be directed to the appropriate Project Manager for the school district in which the library building is located.

Reduced Match Justification Form

This form is completed by library system staff. This form is required to be completed and submitted as part of the online application by library system staff for each public library deemed eligible by the library system for state funding of up to 75%. State aid for public library construction can be provided for “up to seventy-five percent of the total project approved costs for buildings of public libraries that are located in an economically disadvantaged community,” as determined by the public library system. Public libraries that are located in communities that are not identified by the library system as economically disadvantaged communities are eligible for a maximum of fifty percent of the total project approved costs.

This form is available online as part of the construction application and is filled out by the public library system for each of its member libraries and system applications.

Bonding

If the project for which a library has submitted an application is or will be funded in whole or in part through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds, bond anticipation notes, revenue anticipation notes, or some similar form of obligation, the application must include the applicable authorizing resolutions adopted by the library or issuing party authorizing the bond issuance, a detailed breakdown of the expected or actual sources and uses of bond proceeds, equity or other funding sources for the project, a copy of the final official statement relating to the applicable issuance if available and a current cost estimate of the entire project including:

  1. Provide a detailed breakdown of all project costs regardless of whether or not they will be funded with allocations. Indicate which costs are related to aid funds.
  2. Provide the total dollar amount that is being bonded for the project.
  3. If BANS are issued, a letter is required asserting that at the time BANS are converted to Bonds, the Bond issued for the project will be in an amount not to exceed the total cost of the project minus the allocation.

Keep in mind that since State Aid for Library Construction projects are funded with tax exempt bonds, the only portion of the project that can be funded with bonds is the total cost of the project minus the amount allocated that is being requested.

Last Updated: May 30, 2024