NORFOLK - The Norfolk Town Board has accepted a $96,000 bid from a Utica firm for work on the roof at Norfolks Hepburn Library.
The board discussed the proposed project with Aaron B. Jarvis, the towns engineer from Tisdel Associates, and Tim Opdyke for approximately an hour before voting 4-1 to accept a bid of $96,000 from Lupini Construction for work at the library roofing project.
Mr. Jarvis told the board in July the project calls for tearing off the asbestos-contaminated old roof and installing new shingles. He also indicated at the time that even though two of the three chimneys are not used they might need to be repaired or replaced so the building maintains its current look and historic value.
Town Supervisor Charles A. Pernice somewhat hesitantly made a motion to accept the bid from the Utica-based firm, and councilpersons Jean Gang and Donald I. Purvis voted in favor as well. Councilman Robert J. Harvey voted against accepting the bid, citing a need to hold back and re-evaluate before moving forward with the project.
After some thought, Councilman Kevin Enslow voted with the majority of his fellow board members.
Ill vote yes. Like I said, Im stuck halfway, but its our building and its got to be fixed. If we lose the grant, were going to pay more, Mr. Enslow said.
The town of Norfolk plans to use a New York State Library Construction Grant, which focuses on new additions, rehabilitation work and handicap accessibility improvements to help pay for the work.
The town board is moving forward with the expectation they will be receiving a 50/50 matching grant, but there are no guarantees.
Library Director Vicky Brothers explained the ratio could change base on how many different libraries apply for the grant.
They allot so much money to North Country Library System, and they put out the word. 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, Ms. Brothers said. Depending on how many libraries apply, that determines the ratio. Basically they review it and then on Oct. 10 they submit it to the state and the state reviews it. Then they submit it to the Dormitory Authority. Then they give the ok to North Country Library System and it probably doesnt happen until August 2014.
The 4-1 vote means that the replacement of the Hepburn Library roof in Norfolk, which has been a frequent subject of discussion at town board meetings in the past year, appears to be close to becoming a reality.
Aaron would have done the bond anticipation note resolution tonight, but he really isnt comfortable doing that with a whole bunch of unknowns out there. How much are we going to get for the grant? Were not going to get the grant until August of next year. So if we do a one-year bond anticipation note, I mean if we started now, the dates are just close together for me. There are just too many unknowns, Mr. Pernice said.
If we wait until spring were going to have a better idea on the grant and get a on- year bond anticipation note. For myself, I think we should hold back and re-evaluate. I think we should take a different approach, Mr. Harvey added.
Although he voted against awarding the bid to Lupini Construction, Mr. Harvey expressed his concern about the condition of the librarys chimneys.
Im concerned about leaving those chimneys for another season. Im concerned that maybe we should separate the masonry out from the roofing right now and at least get the masonry done, Mr. Harvey said. I just think weve got to take a look at at least getting the masonry done before fall.
Id be very surprised if at least one of those chimneys, I mean theyre leaning, its got gaps, its bad, Mr. Pernice added.
Ms. Gang said that she thinks the possibility of waiting and ultimately losing the grant is too risky. I dont want to lose the possibility of the grant. I think we should go with what we have here, she said.
Mr. Jarvis cautioned the board they were facing a deadline.
The issues now become its already been close to four weeks since the bid on Aug. 15. So three weeks going on four. They only have to hold the bid for 45 days, Mr. Jarvis explained.
He also noted that the breakdown of the work would consist of just under $63,000 allotted to roof work, while the masonry would amount to at least in the 30s.
My concern is like I said, if we lose a 50/50 matching grant, come spring the town is on the hook for that, Mr. Pernice reiterated. I dont think the grant covered the total cost. If we wait until spring and then go back out, the grants gone. Wed be starting all over again.
Work on the roofing project is scheduled to begin on May 1, 2014, but Mr. Pernice said that there has been discussion on possibly working on the chimneys this fall due to their instability.