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Mendon Community Pitching in to Keep New Library Project Moving

Owner and broker of Mendon's Millenium Realty Judy Leonelli, second from left, donates her commission check to the new Taft Library project. Standing with her from left to right are Selectman Mark Reil, Taft Library Trustee Susan Darnell, Selectman Lawney Tinio, and Selectman Michael Goddard.

Pitching in both financially and through a material donation is certainly helping Mendon's new Taft Library slowly come to a realization. Most recently, the impending new library received two very generous contributions.

At a recent Board of Selectmen's meeting, local realtor and owner of Millenium Realty Judy Leonelli was recognized for donating her commission check back to the new library project. Leonelli was the realtor used when the town purchased the former St. Michael's building for $360,000 to eventually be renovated for a new library. The purchase of the building and estimated $1.7 million renovation project will be funded through approved debt exclusions.

Leonelli said the financial contribution was something she had wanted to do. "It's one of those things where I had the opportunity, so I wanted to contribute it back," she said. Leonelli presented her commission check to the town during a June 4 Board of Selectmen's meeting.

In addition to Leonelli's financial donation, Selectman Lawney Tinio was able to secure free, used shelving that will eventually be installed in the new library when construction gets underway. Several months ago, Tinio made arrangements with Consigli Construction out of Milford to secure the shelving. Consigli is currently working on a renovation of the UMass Dartmouth Library and arranged to donate the shelving from the UMass project to the Mendon library project. According to Taft Library Trustee Susan Darnell, the shelving donation will likely save approximately $7,000.

Others have also been coming forward to help out. Most recently, Mendon resident Mike Watson volunteered to mow the lawn at the new library location until the Parks Department is able to take on the responsibility.

As the contributions come in, the new library project is taking all the necessary steps before construction can begin. Darnell said the Library Building Committee has been meeting regularly and will soon be interviewing candidates for a Project Manager. From there, the Committee will be advertising for architectural services. "Soon, we'll also be cranking up our fundraising efforts," she said. It is hoped that the renovations can begin sometime in the fall.


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