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Funds sought to fix Ogdensburg library’s wall

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The Ogdensburg Public Library will apply later his summer for state funds to overhaul a stucco wall on its western second floor.

On Thursday, the library’s board of trustees gave Director Wayne L. Miller permission to apply for $50,000 from the New York Library Construction Fund. That is a maximum amount even though a preliminary estimate is closer to $18,000. When the application is submitted in August, the library will get additional opinions on the projected cost and the larger number will be replaced by the actual figure.

Mr. Miller told the trustees that the wall “is in danger of collapsing.”

The wall has been worn by years of exposure to the nearby St. Lawrence River’s winter winds. As a result, the stucco and the supportive mesh underneath it are deteriorating to the point where temporary repairs are no longer sufficient for the 90-year-old library, which is located at 312 Washington St.

The rest of the building’s walls can use renovating, Mr. Miller noted, and at a projected cost of $200,000.

But that can wait.

“I’m going for the most critical,” Mr. Miller said.

The library construction program has a $400,000 pool of funds with a 75-25 formula for projects costs. The state pays the larger amount while the locality coves the lesser share.

For the wall project, the state would pay $13,500 and the library would have to come up with $4,500.

Other improvements at the library are in the offing.

Last month, the library was told it would receive $52,710 from the state program to replace and seal for energy efficiency 45 windows.

Recent improvements to the building include installation of a new roof and interior security improvements.

Also, library officials have been meeting with an architect to discuss a multi-year plan of building improvements. They include strengthening the handicapped access ramp on the west side, a toilet on the first floor, energy efficient lighting and making the book stack aisles wide enough for wheelchairs to navigate.

The library’s employees are also participating in the discussions.

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