Friday, January 29, 1999
Gleason Library building estimates up $400K
The Gleason Library building committee shocked the finance committee on January 20 when they said that the proposed expansion could cost $400,000 more than previous estimates.
Past estimates of the town's share of the library construction costs were approximately $1 million. Combined with the state grant of $919,388 and $360,000 in private funds, this brought total funding to just under $2.3 million. Library trustee Mary Cheever revealed to FinCom members that estimated costs have now risen to over $2.7 million. "This is shocking!" FinCom chair Charles Parker exclaimed "The town's share has increased by 40 percent!"
Cheever explained that there are three reasons for the increase. First, estimates are now based on 75 percent completed construction drawings that provide a more accurate number. Second, there is substantially more site work required than first expected, adding $149,000. "We have to regrade the whole area," said Cheever. "This means that the driveway and parking areas must be repaved at significant cost." Cheever went on to explain that the third reason is the general state of the economy. "Business is boomingthe contractors have plenty of work and are bidding up the job." In response to Parker's concern about the firmness of their numbers, Cheever expressed confidence that they will have final bids by spring Town Meeting.
Parker fears that it will be difficult to get approval at Town Meeting with the present numbers. "May I make a suggestion?" he asked. "Go back and work on your numbers. Try to remove $200,000. See if you can get the state endowment versus town funds to 50/50 [ratio]." Parker felt that one target for cost-cutting is the site work, which is somewhat superfluous to the building project.
FinCom will revisit the issue at their February 3 hearing, where they have scheduled a more detailed review of the library costs.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito