Library Dispute in Village of Perry: Issue for Veterans

10:32 PM, Feb 1, 2012   |    comments
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Perry Library. Veterans were concerned about access to memorial stone behind building.

PERRY, NY - The plan of the Perry Library in Wyoming County to add a parking lot for the disabled has upset some neighbors who worry about property values.  But it has also raised concerns for some veterans.

They have questioned why a proposed policy put out in early January would have restricted them from going behind the library building to honor some long buried soldiers at a memorial stone. It turns out the library building was actually built over a cemetery in 1912. Some remains were removed but others are still buried there. There is also a memorial stone which honors a member of the Williams family who served in the War of 1812. Some say there are also veterans of Revolutionary War still buried on site.

Veterans from American Legion McKelton Post 350 say they have performed ceremonial events in the past to honor the war dead at the stone which has two flagpoles. But they were upset with the library board's policy which would have restricted access to operating hours of the library and required the veterans to get permission from the library director for any ceremonial events on days like Memorial Day, Veterans Day or July 4th.

Library Director Peggy Parker says the board has since come up with a revised policy which does allow access for all during daylight hours. Also there would be no prior notice needed for ceremonial events. Any work on the library grounds would require permission.

Parker says there was some discussion of the policy but it was put off for approval until March 7th. The overall parking lot plan is proceeding pending village and county planning approval.

Parker also denies some previous reports that the library wanted to expand the building back into the area where the stone memorial is located. Parker says there had been some earlier discussions about fundraising for an expanded space for a children's section of the library but that is no longer under consideration.        

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