Sunapee Selectmen OK Emergency Funds for Library Repairs

Sunapee selectmen approved on December 21 an emergency expenditure of $20,000 for mold remediation and repairs at the town library. The money will come from the town’s unreserved fund balance, which is allowed by RSA32:11. The funding request was subsequently approved by the NH Dept. of Revenue Administration, as required.

At the December 21 meeting, Library Director Jon Walden and Trustee Xan Gallup said that removing the remaining mold and repairing the lower level of Abbott Library needed to be addressed immediately; it represented public health and safety issues.

The library had depleted available funds to do the work.

Selectmen Stephen White, chairman, William Roach, vice-chairman, Charlotte Brown and Emma Smith voted in favor of the expenditure. Fred Gallup was absent from the meeting.

Mold and extensive water-related damage was discovered in the library basement in the latter part of 2009. This led to the library closing the lower level for mold remediation, cleaning, and a variety of repairs to the basement floor, walls and windows that  became necessary as more building and drainage issues were discovered. Then, in early December, post mold remediation air tests showed a versicolor mold problem remained requiring more work and expenditures.

Had the emergency funding request failed, the trustees would have had to wait until Town Meeting in March. This would have delayed repairs several months and forced continued closure of the lower level until May, said trustees at their December 18 meeting. Now, the lower level may be able to re-open by the end of February.

The library basement houses adult and children book collections, office space and the three-day-a-week after-school program, which is now operating temporarily at the Community Methodist Church located across the street.

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