Council OKs $360,000 for library project
6-1 vote green lights construction
June 24. 2014 1:17PM
Construction crews could break ground on the $1.1 million renovation and addition at the Dell Rapids Carnegie Library as early as this week after city councilors recently bridged a budget shortfall that had put the project in jeopardy.
The Dell Rapids City Council voted 6-1 to use municipal dollars to fill a $360,000 funding gap that came to light after the 2,000-square foot addition and restoration of the 104-year-old city library was bid by contractors last month.
The council and Dell Rapids Library Board put the project out for bids in early May but when estimates came in higher than engineers had speculated, the project was put on hold.
Upon the decision last week, a room filled with library supporters erupted in applause.
“I want to thank the council on behalf of the library board and the people who support us,” said Tom Earley, library board president. “We are much appreciative of this and I think its good for the city, and that’s the important thing.”
Alderman Chad Andrews was the lone nay vote. Alderman Lee Burggraff was not present.
The council’s decision to use taxpayer dollars to finish the project – without plans to recoup costs through future library budgets – comes nearly two years after Dell Rapids voters narrowly shot down an opt out to cover $800,000 of the project. Since then, the size of the addition was reduced from 6,000 square feet to 2,000-square feet and utility upgrades were redesigned to save about $200,000.
Earley said the library will continue with plans to move operations to the former elementary school during construction.