MILTON — A $68,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow the Milton Public Library to renovate a building on its complex which has been unused for the past several years.

Jed Stalker, library director, said the library recently received confirmation it had been approved to receive the matching Rural Development Grant. Stalker noted that the library has on hand the $68,000 required to place as a match for the grant to rehabilitate the library’s Carriage House.

“This has been in the works for a long time,” Stalker said of the grant.

Since the library opened at its Rose Hill location in 2012, Stalker said the board of directors has been looking to renovate the Carriage House.

He said the building had initially been used to host some programs.

“A code inspector came out (to one of our programs) and said ‘can I see your certificate of occupancy?’” Stalker recounted. “We haven’t been able to use (the Carriage House) for events since... We needed to get a certificate of occupancy to use it.”

He added that renovations to the Carriage House must be completed in order to receive the certificate.

Stalker said T-Ross Brothers Construction was awarded the bid to carry out the project, which will soon get underway.

“A lot of the interior (of the Carriage House) is going to be completely redone,” Stalker said.

A staircase is going to be added to the exterior of the building, along with an interior staircase to the building’s lower level. ADA compliant bathrooms and ramps are also going to be added.

“We haven’t been able to use (the Carriage House) for events,” Stalker said. “That has put a cramp on (programs) we’ve been able to hold.”

Once the renovations are complete, Stalker said the facility will be used to host library programs and events. A portion of the building could also be leased for use by a for-profit business. The library board will entertain proposals from entities potentially interested in the space.

Stalker said enthusiasm for the project is running high.

“Our programming people can’t wait to get in (the Carriage House) and start using the space,” he said. “The board is thrilled. This is the biggest thing we’ve done, monetarily, since the facility was purchased.”

Stalker offered thanks to Michelle Musser, from the USDA, for her assistance in filling out the grant application.

More details about the renovation project will be announced in the near future.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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