The Suffield Board of Selectmen addressed several issues during their meeting Tuesday; the items focused on the transition to a temporary library, alternative electricity generation and address and name changes for the Lakeview Drive Extension in West Suffield.
The future of the town library was decided with a referendum earlier this year with a vote against building a new facility. But upkeep of the current was necessary.
The library needed a new roof among other repairs. The town budgeted for a roof replacement and had made a public announcement for the bids.
"The bids came in for the project, we received two bids," said First Selectman Tom Frenaye. "They did not come in under the estimate we got from the engineers."
The low bid, of about $587,000, came in from Silkroad Roofing of Manchester; they have done work previously in Suffield, according to Frenaye.
The plans call for the work to start on Sept. 12, with a minimum of 60 days of work. The question that needed to be answered was what will be done in during the time the roof is being replaced?
Frenaye said he eliminated the possibility of renting out space for a temporary library due to the high costs, so he ultimately suggested the option of using the lower level of Town Hall.
The board, following the suggestion of Frenaye, approved a motion to have a temporary library open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Operating the temporary facility wil cost of around $32,000 a month. That cost is less expensive than the current price to keep the library open for a given month.
The board also reviewed information from John Donahue, chairman of the Alternative Energy Commission, about a program to open up new electricity generation for households in town.
A normal household’s electric bill is split between distribution, which comes from Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and generation, which in most cases comes from CL&P as well.
The Alternative Energy Commission proposed that the town open up the opportunity to agree to a group rate through Direct Energy, which Donahue said provides some of the lowest generation rates, and offers a rebate for the town.
The board questioned what an agreement with Direct Energy would come across as to the people living in the town.
While the rates are lower, and Direct Energy offers a rebate based on the amount of people receiving electricity generation, board members were concerned an agreement would come across as an endorsement.
"I just don’t think it is proper for the town government," said Selectman Brian Fitzgerald, who compared the agreement to a group rate at Sam’s Club.
The board agreed to table the issue until more research could be performed, including what other towns in the area had done.
The board took action to change the street name and house numbers for the Lakeview Drive Extension in West Suffield.
The street had been plagued with issues including inconsistent street numbers, which made directions and proper emergency response difficult, according to Frenaye.
The board agreed that the concerns over proper safety response warranted a change in the street names and address numbers for the street.
The town also reached out to residents on these streets and heard back from all but four of 21 people households on the street. Frenaye said the overwhelming majority agreed to the name and number changes.
The north section of Lakeview Drive Extension will be named Lake Drive, and the south section will be renamed Lakeview Drive, consistent with the area.
“It really does help safety departments get to where they need in a timely fashion,” Frenaye said.