Mount Pleasant Library Seeks $1.5M Bond

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The Mount Pleasant Library is pursuing a $1.5 million bond for a series of capital projects.

Library Director John Fearon, members of the library board and architect Ronald Cosentino gave Mount Pleasant Town Board members their first look at the proposal for the main library branch in Pleasantville on Aug. 2. Library representatives are scheduled to make another presentation at the Aug. 8 Pleasantville Village Board of Trustees meeting. Both the town and village boards would need to approve the project.

Library officials are seeking to replace the parking lot, which has many cracks, inadequate curbs which do not allow for the stopping of a vehicle’s wheels, and depressions in the pavement, Cosentino told the town board.

Repairs are also being sought to the library’s mansard roof and low slope roof,
Cosentino said. The library also wants to replace one of the air handler units, heating pumps and sump pumps, he said. In addition, the library wants to replace leaking silt windows; replace one of the cooling towers; replace the air and water balance system, and install a new chiller room Freon vent.

The library also wants the bond to include additional projects known as “add alternates” in the event that bids for projects were lower than expected by the library, Cosentino said. The add alternates that would be included by the library are a new hot water system; an upgrade of heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls; and the retrofitting of oil burners to turn them into gas fired units.

Cosentino said if the bond was approved by the town board the library, which opened in 1967, could stay open for several more years; protect the library’s collection from water damage; help prevent service disruptions; provide a safer parking lot; and improve the indoor comfort and air quality for patrons.

Fearon said the projects being requested were needed for the ongoing operations of the library. “These are not enhancements in any way,” he said.

The library is seeking approval for it to start working on plans no later than September 1. Cosentino said it would take between four and six months to develop plans and specifications. The best time to go out for bids would be in the spring, he said.

Cosentino said the cost of the bond was just an estimate.

While not taking a formal position on the library’s proposal, town board members had some questions for the library representatives. Councilman Thomas Sialiano asked Cosentino for an explanation of “soft costs,” which represented about 20 percent of the total cost of the bond. “It’s a guess,” Cosentino said. “I think that was a high amount,” Sialiano said. Cosentino said soft costs would include such categories as legal fees and the fee for an architect, which is usually eight percent of a capital bond.

Some of the town board members questioned having “add alternatives.” Councilman Peter DiMillio said if a project was needed it should be included in the basic bond, not as a potential add on if bids for bond project came in lower than expected.

Town Supervisor Joan Maybury said that projects being sought by the library were needed, but she was not ready to make a decision on the proposal. “The economic climate is not looking favorably” to spending additional funds on a bond, she said.

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