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Library might not need bond $$$

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The city of Ogdensburg might not need to include the cost of renovations to the city’s public library in a $550,000 borrowing that was approved by its lawmakers earlier this week.

On Monday, the City Council voted 7-0 in favor of issuing a capital improvement bond of up to $550,000 to cover the cost of a $325,000 pumper truck for the fire department, $122,550 for a Zamboni machine for ice resurfacing at the city’s Richard G. Lockwood Civic Center rink and $102,450 for window and stucco replacement at Ogdensburg Public Library.

But the library is at the same time looking for funds elsewhere for the same purpose. Executive Director Wayne L. Miller has applied for a $104,443.80 grant from the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency. A decision is due sometime next month.

“Due to the timing, we couldn’t wait to make the bond request until we learned the fate of the grant application, so they are moving in parallel,” Mr. Miller said.

Clearly, Mr. Miller prefers a grant.

“Because the bond is something that has to be repaid, it is, in essence, a loan,” he said. “In the past, bonding for the library has been deducted from our annual allocation from the city, which is already under a great deal of stress.”

City Comptroller Philip A. Cosmo said that the “up to” condition in the bonding resolution allows city to drop the $102,450 for the library if the grant comes through.

The library already has $52,709.80 for the window replacement and anticipates another grant for $24,732 for the stucco repair. The bond includes the 50 percent local matches required for the grants.

The window repair work includes replacing three 40-year-old bow vinyl windows at the rear and the side on the first floor of the library that have become opaque over the years and cannot be cleaned.

Also, 44 wood-frame windows that were installed as the 1920s are stuck closed. Mr. Miller said the windows need to be stripped and re-glazed in order to improve their heat efficiency.

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