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Town of Norfolk approves library bond resolution


NORFOLK — Town officials said the asbestos removal project at the Hepburn Library is set for May after funding was approved earlier this week.

“We are taking a one-year bond anticipation note because we do not know what we’re going to get for grant money. We don’t know if we’re going to get it yet,” town Supervisor Charles A. Pernice said. “They’ve changed the date a couple of times when they were going to announce it, so the easiest way is to do a bond anticipation note and do the financing for whatever is left. What started with a leaky library roof turned into friable asbestos shingles and has turned into quite the expense. I had just assumed from estimations that it would be $30,000 or $40,000, and it turned into $155,200.”

The Hepburn Library was constructed in 1921 and is listed on the state and national registers of Historic Places.

In September 2012, the town board voted to contribute $6,000 toward roof repair work that Library Director Vicky L. Brothers had estimated to cost $7,800. Work crews later discovered friable asbestos, so the project was scaled back to address only the immediate problems with leakage. That work was completed in November 2012.

Last September, town officials accepted a $96,000 bid from Lupini Construction, Utica, for work on the roof. The work will include tearing off the asbestos-contaminated roof and installing new shingles.

“Within that ($155,200) there’s some work restoration also to keep the historical value of” the building, Councilman Robert J. Harvey said.

The town had plans last fall to seek a New York State Library Construction Grant, which targets new additions, rehabilitation work and handicapped accessibility improvements, to help pay for the work.

It is moving forward with the expectation it will receive a 50/50 matching grant, but there are no guarantees.

Ms. Brothers said in the fall that the ratio could change depending on the number of libraries that apply for the grant.

“They allot so much money to North Country Library System and they put out the word,” she said. “Then libraries apply and then they have to go through three stages. The first step is that the library goes to submit it to the North Country Library System.”

She said the library would not know whether they will receive a grant until August.

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