As used in this section and in Education Law § 273-a:
(1) Library means public, free association and Indian libraries, as defined in section 253 of the Education Law, which are members of public library systems.
(2) Library system means a public library system, as defined in subdivision 1 of section 272 of the Education Law.
(3) Library service area means the chartered service area of a public, free association or Indian library as stated on charter documents approved by the Board of Regents and on file at the department. For the purposes of this section, the phrase “and environs” or its equivalent as contained in any charter document will not be recognized by the commissioner as a valid part of a library service area. For the purposes of this section, areas served by the library under contract will not be recognized by the commissioner as a valid part of a library service area.
(4) Library construction means:
(i) the construction or acquisition of a building for library purposes, including construction of a building for library purposes pursuant to a lease-purchase agreement; or
(ii) the renovation or rehabilitation of a building already owned by a library; or
(iii) renovation or rehabilitation of a building to be leased for library purposes for a minimum of ten (10) years, including renovation or rehabilitation of a building for library purposes pursuant to a lease-purchase agreement.
(5) Acquisition means the purchase of a site for library purposes and/or an existing building suitable for conversion to library purposes.
(6) Renovation means the overall improvement or conversion of an existing building, exclusive of routine maintenance, resulting in increased operational efficiency and economy
(7) Rehabilitation means the restoration of an existing library building, exclusive of routine maintenance, with particular emphasis on energy conservation, accommodation for computer equipment, or access by persons with disabilities.
(8) Broadband library services means providing a high speed internet connection for library users, including but not limited to internal and external connections, at a minimum speed prescribed by the commissioner using such means as wireless, fiber, cable, white space and similar products
(9) Economically disadvantaged means that the library building that will be the subject of a project application is located in a community that meets a set of criteria as determined by the library system in accordance with Education Law § 273-a (2)(e) and that the project is therefore eligible for aid of up to seventy-five percent (75%) of the total project costs.
(10) Economically distressed means that the average poverty rate for the library service area meets or exceeds the New York State average poverty rate in accordance with the provisions of Education Law § 273-a (2)(f) and where the library also demonstrates the need for State aid of up to and including ninety percent (90%) of the total project costs.
(11) Coordinated application means an application submitted by a public library system on behalf of two or more libraries for one specific type of project, such as broadband, infrastructure, generators or energy efficient lighting. The State aid allocation for such coordinated projects shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the total project costs.
(b) Application procedures.
(1) Each public library system shall submit to the commissioner, no later than a prescribed date, as part of a plan of service, a plan by which it will accept, review, and make recommendations on applications as required by Education Law, section 273-a(2).
(2) When the applicant is a library, the governing board of the system of which it is a member shall indicate to the commissioner its approval of such application by stating the extent to which the project for which State aid is requested will assist the applicant to provide more effective service within the system’s standards of organization and service.
(3) When the applicant is a library system, the application shall describe how the State-aided project will improve system services to member libraries and users.
(4) The library system board shall rank the applications from its system area in order of its recommendations, giving particular attention to the service needs of any communities which are geographically isolated, economically disadvantaged, economically distressed or located beyond the reasonable service capabilities of other libraries which are members of such library system.
(5) The library system board, upon request by the commissioner, shall provide the eligibility criteria for applications designated as projects serving economically disadvantaged communities pursuant to Education Law section 273-a(2)(e) for each recommended application. Such documentation may demonstrate eligibility through poverty rates, concentrations of English language learners, low high school graduation rates, limited fiscal capacity or other relevant factors as approved by the commissioner.
(6) The library system board shall determine the amount of State aid that will be allocated for each single building project application. The library system may allocate up to and including fifty percent (50%) of the library system’s total State aid appropriation under Education Law § 273-a for single building projects serving economically distressed communities as defined in paragraph (10) of subdivision (a) of this section. In accordance with the provisions of Education Law § 273-a(4), State aid funding for all economically distressed projects must be allocated entirely from the fifty percent (50%) portion of the library system’s total appropriation.
(7) Coordinated applications must be submitted by the library system in accordance with the provision of Education Law § 273-a (3). The public library system shall be responsible for managing all coordinated projects. Each coordinated project application shall be approved by the board of trustees of each participating library as well as the board of trustees of the library system. Each library building included in a coordinated application is eligible for State funding up to and including fifty percent (50%) of total coordinated project costs for that building. No one building may be the subject of more than one coordinated project application per year.
(c) Content of applications. Each application shall assure that:
(1) when the construction project is completed, adequate operating support and resources will be available to sustain an improved level of service as reflected by the schedule of library open hours, the number of professional and nonprofessional staff needed to provide such service, and the upgrading of the inventory of all types of library materials;
(2) the library share of the cost of the project must be available or have been otherwise committed to the project;
(3) the project has been started or will begin within 180 days after approval by the commissioner and will be completed promptly and in accordance with the application;
(4) the approved project will be conducted in accordance with all applicable Federal, State and local laws and regulations;
(5) the project has not been completed prior to the date of application to the library system;
(6) where required by law, competitive bidding procedures will be followed; and
(7) the premises constructed, acquired, renovated, rehabilitated or leased will be usable for library purposes for at least 10 years from completion of the project.
(d) Criteria for approval of an application. Approval of construction project applications will be based in part upon the degree to which each project will result in:
(1) more effective library service to the library’s service area, as evidenced by new library programs and user accommodations resulting from the increased and improved building space and capacity;
(2) more efficient utilization of the library building, resulting in such economies as increased energy conservation and increased staff efficiency;
(3) improved access to and use of building services by all library users, including persons with physical disabilities;
(4) the provision of library services in communities which are geographically isolated, economically disadvantaged or economically distressed; and
(5) the satisfaction of such other criteria as the commissioner may deem appropriate.
(e) Costs. Pursuant to Education Law, section 273-a:
(1) Costs eligible for approval shall include:
(i) construction or acquisition of a library building;
(ii) renovation or rehabilitation of a library building;
(iii) renovation or rehabilitation of leased property to be used for library purposes;
(iv) acquisition of vacant land to be used for library purposes;
(v) purchase and installation of initial equipment and furnishings as a project component of subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii) of this paragraph;
(vi) purchase, installation and replacement of a library building’s broadband services infrastructure, including but not limited to internal and external connections, either as a stand-alone project or as a project component of subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii) of this paragraph;
(vii) site preparation and grading as a project component of subparagraph (i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) of this paragraph;
(viii) replacement of a library building’s mechanicals, including, but not limited to, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, cooling, electrical, and plumbing systems;
(ix) replacement of permanent components of a library building, including, but not limited to, windows, doors, roofs, and lighting systems;
(x) purchase and installation of permanent signage (with or without lighting, internal or external), which is used for library purposes;
(xi) purchase and installation of one or more generators for library purposes;
(xii) purchase and installation of assistive listening devices and systems for the deaf and hearing impaired, which shall include but not be limited to, hearing loops, FM systems and infrared systems; and
(xiii) project management of the construction, renovation, rehabilitation or broadband library services infrastructure project, exclusive of salaries, benefits, or other in-house personnel costs;
(xiv) architectural and engineering plans for locally approved new or ongoing projects;
(xv) purchase and installation or construction of permanent components of a library building, including devices or systems to increase energy efficiency and energy conservation for library purposes, exclusive of any add-on warranties or recurring service or maintenance costs;
(xvi) in accordance with i, ii and iii above, construction of an outbuilding, when that building is built onsite or when a permanent foundation or base is added beneath the outbuilding that was constructed off-site;
(xvii) such other costs as may be approved by the commissioner.
(2) The following costs are not eligible for State aid funds, but may be included in a project application and paid from the library’s share of the total project costs:
(i) ongoing service fees for telecommunications and broadband services, including but not limited to, help-desk services, training costs, or any other cost incurred after installation;
(ii) software licensing;
(iii) flooring and/or carpeting when not part of a larger construction project in that same room of the library;
(iv) lease payments of any kind;
(v) interest or debt retirement; and
(vi) furniture when not part of a much larger construction project in the same room or rooms of the library and in the same project number.
(3) The following costs are not eligible for State aid for Library construction, regardless of whether such project costs will be paid with State aid funds, or the library’s share of the total project costs:
(i) speculative architectural and engineering plans and feasibility studies;
(ii) building consultant studies;
(iii) interest or carrying charges on bonds financing the project;
(iv) purchase of books and other library materials;
(v) repairs incidental to larger construction activities;
(vi) landscaping that is not a project component of subparagraph (i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision; and
(vii) routine repair and maintenance.
(f) Schedule of payment of State aid for library construction:
(1) Fifty-percent payment of awarded State aid for approved costs of the project will be made after notification of applicant by the commissioner of approval for funding.
(2) Forty percent (40%) of such aid shall be payable in the State fiscal year following the year in which State funding was first provided in the State’s enacted budget.
(3) The ten percent (10%) final payment will be made after submission and approval of satisfactory evidence that the project has been completed in accordance with the terms of the approved application. The commissioner will determine if the evidence submitted is satisfactory and approvable.
(g) Reports. The following reports shall be made to the commissioner on the forms and by the dates prescribed by the commissioner:
(1) Each recipient of State aid pursuant to Education Law, section 273-a, shall report on the status of the approved project, including a final cost report.
(2) Upon request by the Commissioner, a library system board shall report on the anticipated State aid necessary for eligible projects to be completed in its service area.
(3) Upon request by the commissioner, a library system board shall submit a report detailing the status of each project for which an application was submitted by a member library and not recommended for approval, or was submitted but for which no State aid was provided.
(4) Any other reports the Commissioner shall deem necessary to carry out the purpose of this program.