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Photos by Fritz Rethage    Posted December 15, 2003

un-Official Library web-site    Official Library web-site

Free Public Library
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

December 14, 2003

The formal dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Hasbrouck Heights Free Public Library was held at 320 Boulevard on a snowy Sunday afternoon, December 14, 2003. Light refreshments followed.

The program began with the Pledge of Allegiance with introductions and opening comments by Library Board President Thomas Verrastro.  Speakers included Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck, Mayor William J. Torre [Mayor's remarks] and Library Director Michele Reutty [Director's remarks].  The program concluded with Dorothy Schlatterer leading the assembly in singing "God Bless America".

Council persons in attendance included: Justin A. DiPisa, Herbert D. Heeren, Garrett R. Pepe and Marlene Verrastro.  Library Board of Tustees attending included: Peter Gallo Jr., Thomas Meli, Maryetta Saccamano and Lisa Traina.

It was recognized that during the Library's 80 year commitment to the community, many dedicated individuals had made vital contributions.  A partial list included: Mr. Edward Black who deeded the building,  Mr. Al Farber, Marge Hendley, Chris Heller, Marcia Imken, etc.

Upon conclusion of the speakers, the official ribbon cutting took place in the general purpose room.

The official dedication program was originally scheduled for December 7th, but was postponed due to snow storms.

"Hands Across the Heights" was scheduled to precede the dedication on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m..  The event was that the last book in the library (The Commemorative Centennial History of Hasbrouck Heights), was to be passed hand-to-hand from the old library to the new. Unfortunately, the event was canceled the second time due to another snow storm on December 14th.

Th original $4 million dollar Library project was to be in combination with a Senior Citizens Center and was slated for property located at The Boulevard and Central Avenue.   After "The Big Fire", the project was re-organized to include the Municipal offices and expanded to take up the complete block from Central to Madison Avenues.

In August 1999, Gov. Christine Todd Whitman signed a bill at the Free Library that granted $45 million to libraries around the state for improvement projects. The grants were earmarked for construction and renovation, not the acquisition of books or multimedia material. The fund provided one dollar for every three raised by a community. New Jersey has 315 public libraries with approximately 450 buildings. The bill's sponsors were Assemblywoman Rose Heck, R-Hasbrouck Heights, and Assemblyman Leonard Lance, R-Hunterdon.

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Library Board President Thomas Verrastro

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Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck presenting a NJ Assembly Proclamation

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Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck organized over $700,000 grants for this library.

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Mayor William J. Torre applauding the efforts of the Library Board and staff.
[Mayor's remarks]

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Library Director Michele Reutty

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Dorothy Schlatterer leading the assembly in "God Bless America".

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(l-r) Council President Herbert D. Heeren, Library Director Michele Reutty, Library Board President Thomas Verrastro, Councilwoman Marlene Verrastro, Mayor William J. Torre, Councilman Garrett R. Pepe, Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck, Councilman Justin A. DiPisa, and Library Board Turstees: Lisa Traina, Peter Gallo Jr., Maryetta Saccomano and Thomas Meli.

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(l-r) Library Board President Thomas Verrastro, Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck, Library Director Michele Reutty and Mayor William J. Torre
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Before the [The Big Fire] and before it was determined to locate the New Municipal Complex at this location, the $4 million dollar Library/Senior Center project was started.  The DPW put up this sign back in 1999. [Story]

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Gov. Whitman signing historic legislation at HH Library.  This $45 million legislation that benefited libraries around the state, was co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck  [Story][Pics 1][Pics 2][Pics 3]


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"Hands Across the Heights" was scheduled to precede the dedication on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m..  The event was where the last library book was to be passed hand-to-hand from the old library to the new. Unfortunately, the event was canceled again due to a snow storm Dec. 14
[Snow storm]

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[Photos] of Library on the move November 17-18, 2003
Mayor William J. Torre [Remarks]

[Boro Hall Ribbon Cutting] [Senior Citizens Ribbon Cutting & Building Dedication Prayers]
[Remarks by Mayor William J. Torre][Remarks by Library Director Michele Reutty]
More "Grand Opening" photos [Big move][Raising the Flag][1st M/C Meeting]
Preview Tour: [Library & Senior Center][Library Big Room][Basement]
Previous Ceremonies: [Ground Breaking][Cornerstone Ceremony][Cornerstone Program]


Floor Plans: [Basement] [First Level - Municipal Offices & Senior Center]
[Second Level - Library] [Park Area at Boulevard & Madison]
Elevation: [Front - Boulevard] [Back] [Madison Ave.] [Central Ave.][Treatment Enlargement]
Architect's Drawing & model as posted at Boro Hall, March 2002


[Webcam of New Municipal Complex] [Index to Municipal Construction][The Big Fire]
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Color copies are available at Minuteman Press (Boulevard & Franklin).

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