The Suffield Board of Selectmen approved the transfer of $34,500 from the town’s contingency fund to the roof project fund during a busy meeting Wednesday night at the Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Association.
The $34,500 transfer, which needs to be approved by the Suffield Board of Finance, will pay for painting the underside of the library roof. The painting was originally budgeted into the project but significant deficiencies in the roof’s original construction were uncovered as repairs began.
The project’s budget was reworked to include additional roof repair. That reworking did not cost the town any additional funds, but more money was needed to apply masonry paint to the interior waffle slabs under the building’s roofing structure.
A grant, applied for by First Selectman Tom Frenaye, will likely repay the majority of the transferred funds to the town. A final decision on the grant had not been made by Wednesday night and the selectmen did not officially announce the grant or the exact amount that will be repaid. Specific information on that grant is expected to be available by the first week of November.
“It is my belief that this grant will be finalized,” Frenaye said in a memo given to the board.
The library’s notoriously leaky roof was the result of improper construction. Curbs on the roof weren’t secured and allowed water and moisture to enter the building, according to Director of Public Works John Cloonan.
“The leaks over the years have occurred because of the incorrect assembly,” Cloonan said.
Library Director Jim McShane and Library Commission member Mel Chafetz proposed various repairs and cosmetic improvements for the library at the selectmen’s Sept. 21 meeting.
The library representatives said the projects, including interior wall painting, electrical work, brick and sidewalk repair and refinishing the library’s floors and carpets, would be easier to complete during the library’s closure. Doing the work during the current construction will prevent work on the improvements from disrupting the library’s operations and schedule.
A combination of private donations and town funds will be used to complete the projects. The Suffield Public Library Foundation will contribute $13,500 and the Kent Memorial Library Commission will contribute $18,000 to pay the estimated $24,200 cost of refinishing the floors and carpets. The remaining $7,300 will be used for additional shelving.
The estimated $8,000 needed for brick and sidewalk work will be deferred and added as part of the town’s 2012-2013 capital budget. Repairs necessary for safety will be completed on an as-needed basis as they are encountered.
Interior wall painting, estimated to cost $8,500, will be completed by inmate labor from nearby correctional institutions at no cost to the town.
The Department of Public Works will use its maintenance budget to fund the $5,990 needed for electrical work. The work is needed to relocate the library’s computer area to the building’s north side.
“It’s gratifying to see the Library Foundation and Library Commission both step up with their significant contribution towards the interior project,” Frenaye said.
The board also resolved to allow the Suffield Board of Education to make a grant application for the recent roof replacement at Suffield Middle School, amended the lease of Babb’s Roller Rink held by Citizens Restoring Congamond, discussed the town’s waste disposal contract and reappointed Ted Flanders as the town’s building official.