LIMESTONE, Maine — The Robert A. Frost Memorial Library in Limestone held a ceremonial note burning event at the library on July 3, in which members of the library committee, town selectpeople and community members all made their way to the library to witness the act, symbolizing the conclusion of payments to be made on the library’s note for $140,000, which was afforded to the library by the town of Limestone in 2009.
Library Focus Committee member Marilyn King explained exactly what the process had been and how the note was initially granted to the committee five years ago. The grant was written by the former librarian Rea Caldwell, who as King explained, wrote numerous grants over the years, which were used to keep the library running efficiently.
“We had somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000 set aside for the expansion of the library back when we began this undertaking,” said King. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have the upfront funds necessary for a contractor because the $140,000 needed was all to be paid in pledges that we had not yet received. That is why the town stepped up and offered us a grant totaling $140,000, which we were scheduled to pay back for the next 10 years.”
As the July 3rd note burning ceremony proved, the library was able to earn the funds needed to pay back the note through pledges that were turned in over five years before their due date. King explained that members of the library, along with help from pledges, raised an additional $25,000 in order to match a grant given out by the Maine Community Foundation as part of their 25th anniversary. The foundation awarded 25 $25,000 grants all across Maine, with the stipulation that the $25,000 would need to be matched in-kind — a feat the people of Limestone were able to accomplish rather easily.
“It really goes to show how much the people in this town care about the library and how much they are willing to offer their support,” said King. “Arthur Thompson of Thompson Associates in Presque Isle also helped a great deal, as far as the financial side of things.
Librarian Jessica Givens was also present for the note burning ceremony. She explained exactly how the ceremony took place.
“We had a fire pit outside, where the actual burning of the promissory note took place. Rea Caldwell, Arthur Thompson and Thomas Devoe each burned a copy of the promissory note,” said Givens. “They went up very fast. We had a great turnout. The ceremony reminded me of how lucky we are to have this beautiful town library, and most of all I felt grateful for the incredible support our library receives from the community.”
“The town gave us 10 years to pay back the grant and it only took us five because the pledges were donated in such a timely fashion,” said King. “From now on, any money left or any raised in the future will continue to go through the library’s endowment with the Maine Community Foundation, which will all go toward the upkeep and sustainability of the library.”