Library's Expansion | Newspaper Articles
Library project problems continue
J.J. Huggins, Sentinel & Enterprise, September 22,
LEOMINSTER -- At Large City Councilor Dennis Rosa said
Thursday night the City Council is facing a "worst-case
scenario" in deciding whether to approve a $1.3 million loan
for the new library.
"It's almost like a play or a nightmare," Rosa said during
the council's finance subcommittee meeting in the City
Council Chambers at City Hall.
His comment came after Leominster Public Library Committee
Chairman Mark Bodanza told councilors that if they spend
more time considering whether to approve the money to pay
for unexpected building costs, they could delay the project.
That could result in additional costs, Bodanza said.
"If this thing gets delayed... there could be a stoppage of
work," Bodanza said.
The council approved $7.8 million in 2003 for the
construction of a new library across the street from City
The state contributed about $3 million.
The project went out to bid last year, and the city awarded
the $9,070,708 contract to Fontaine Bros. Inc. of
A delay that officials encountered when they first attempted
to go out to bid in 2004 -- due to new state regulations
regarding public projects -- is the biggest reason for the
funding shortfall, according to Bodanza.
Officials first made an estimate in 2002 of what they
thought it would cost to build the new library.
But when they went out to bid in 2005, the lowest bid was
$667,268 more than their estimate, according to Bodanza.
That, coupled with unforeseen building costs such as
asbestos removal and rock removal, are the reasons why the
library project needs another $1.3 million, according to
The finance committee, which Rosa chairs, hadn't decided
whether to support the spending by the time Thursday's
meeting ended. They spent about an hour questioning library
The subcommittee, which consists of Rosa, Wayne Nickel and
John Dombrowski, have the task of making a recommendation to
the full council on how they should vote.
The subcommittee will try to make a decision during Monday
night's City Council meeting at City Hall, Rosa said after
Thursday night's meeting.
Rosa went over several change orders, which Mayor Dean J.
Mazzarella signed, where the city gave the contractors more
money for various expenses, such as the asbestos removal.
"When you realized the shortfall was so large, I'm wondering
why you didn't have a meeting with the City Council," Rosa
told Bodanza, Library Director Susan Shelton, and other
people involved with the project.
Bodanza said the library committee was "very busy" dealing
with other matters related to the project.
He also noted that the project manager, Michael Mullaney,
worked with the contractor to cut costs wherever they could.