The Selectboard approved funding for a new roof for the library at the October 25th meeting. The work will cover the non-historic portion of the library, over the children’s book stacks and Community Room.
It’s been a long time coming. The roof has been leaking for several months, causing damage to ceiling tiles and books.
There were three choices for funding: Take funds dedicated to the Municipal building CIP fund; Take out a low-interest loan; or deficit-spend against the annual budget allocated to the library.
After reviewing estimates and contract options, the Selectboard agreed to borrow funds and award the contract to Burrell Roofing. (Of three estimates, two were competitively priced. The lowest bid didn’t include a full 15-year warranty for material, nor did it include the complete replacement of roof flashing.)
Work should be completed by December 1st.
Annual funding for the library’s CIP fund has fluctuated considerably over time. Town Manager Jeff Schulz said the annual budget for the library’s CIP fund has been “low” for the last 5 years.
Which leads to the question: Do Northfield voters want leaky roofs or sustainable budgets?
As a member of the Selectboard, the Economic Development Committee, and the Budget Committee, my vote goes for sustainable budgets. If you agree, I’ll need your support when the annual budget process begins.