Dilapidated libraries spark lawsuit

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The city of Providence has filed a lawsuit against the Providence Public Library over the dilapidated condition of several branch libraries.

The non-profit Providence Public Library leases the buildings to the city for a dollar a year. Library spokeswoman Tonia Mason says the lawsuit ignores portions of the lease that call for the city to take care of certain building repairs and improvements.

"The conditions at these buildings are well known, well documented and they were known then the leases were signed," says Mason. "And furthermore the leases indicate whose responsibility it is, the city as the primary lessee and or the tenant."

City officials say the Providence Public Library has made misleading statements about the lease agreements. Talks about transferring ownership of the branch libraries to the city have stalled.

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