Albion library mortgage paid off with another $200K donation from Hoags

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 March 2022 at 10:19 pm

Couple have now given $1 million to Hoag Library – Library taxes drop 10%

Photos by Tom Rivers: Hoag Library, which opened in July 2012, is shown tonight. The original $1.69 million mortgage has now been paid off, 10 years ahead of schedule.

ALBION – The mortgage for Hoag Library has been paid off after the latest big donation from Maurice “Mo” Hoag and his wife Courtenay. The couple sent in a check for $200,000 in October to be applied to the mortgage.

That donation puts the Hoags total giving to the library at $1 million.

The Hoags are recognized inside the library for their contributions to Albion’s public library.

The latest donation also pays off a $1.69 million mortgage from 2012. The mortgage is paid off a decade early, eliminating a $75,000 annual payment.

The reduces what the library will be seeking from taxpayers in the May budget vote by 10.3 percent, a drop from $724,260 in 2021-22 to $648,964 in 2022-23.

Linda Weller, the library board president, thanked the Hoags for generous contributions to the library.

The Hoags initially gave $25,000 in the capital campaign for the new library about a decade ago. They then gave another $225,000, bringing it to $250,000 for the naming rights to the building that opened in July 2012.

In July 2015, they sent another $100,000 check and then another $100,000 arrived on April 14, 2017. In 2018, they sent a check for $250,000, then gave another $100,000.

The Hoags have never requested a photo opportunity or press release. They send in the checks unannounced with a note from Mr. Hoag to use it to pay down the mortgage.

“Mo” Hoag said in a previous interview that a vibrantpublic library can be an equalizer for children in his hometown, a community that he said has endured too many business closings.

Hoag grew up in Albion and graduated in 1961 as valedictorian. He lived in big cities throughout the country, as well as Geneva, Switzerland during a successful 30-year career in chemical manufacturing.

Linda Weller, president of the Hoag Library Board of Trustees, cuts a cake during this evening’s board meeting to celebrate the mortgage being paid off.

Hoag would return often from his retirement home near Baltimore, Md., to see his family and his classmates. He helps plan the Class of 1961’s annual get-togethers.

Hoag spent his early years in Waterport before moving to the village of Albion during his elementary school years. His father, a farmer, was hired to manage Albion Produce on Washington Street. The job came with a house on the same street.

Hoag said Albion was an “ideal place” to grow up in the 1950s. It was “a thriving little town” with industry and small businesses. But many of the food processors, including Hunt’s and Lipton’s, left town decades ago.

After graduating from Albion, Hoag earned a degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University. He worked 30 years with Stauffer Chemical in New York City, Houston, Kansas City, North Carolina and Switzerland, before settling near Baltimore, his wife’s home town.

“The key to moving forward is education and the library is a good start for all of the kids,” Hoag said in a previous interview. “I thought it would help my hometown.”

Kevin Doherty, a library trustee and past board president, said the Hoags don’t want recognition for their donations. They did however encourage the board to have some cake to celebrate the mortgage being paid off.

The cake includes an image of the library and a note thanking Mo and Courtenay Hoag for their donations that allowed the mortgage to be paid off well ahead of schedule.