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Councilors may decide on library loan tonight
J.J. Huggins, Sentinel & Enterprise, September 25, 2006

EOMINSTER -- The City Council is scheduled to discuss tonight whether to approve a $1.3 million loan to pay for unexpected costs of building the new library.

Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella has asked the council to approve the spending to help cover a shortfall in the money needed to complete the building, which is supposed to open in spring 2007.

The matter has stirred controversy in recent weeks, especially from residents, who are concerned about their taxes going up.

But the mayor said many people are supporting the project.

"I'm starting to get inundated with people who are calling to support the library," Mazzarella said Friday.

Officials estimated the library was going to cost about $10.8 million after the council approved $7.8 million for the building in 2003, according to Mark Bodanza, the chairman of the Leominster Public Library Building Committee.

But now officials expect the project will cost about $12.3 million, according to Bodanza.

The state is providing about $3 million in grant money for the project.

Tonight's meeting begins with a public forum at 7:45 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.

In other business, the council is holding a public hearing at 7 p.m. regarding Daniel J. McCarty's request for a special permit to demolish the existing building at 89 Commercial Road -- near the Mall at Whitney Field -- so it can be replaced with a PetSmart store.

The council is also scheduled to vote on whether to appropriate $25,000 to the Department of Public Works' highway overtime account.

DPW Director Patrick LaPointe wrote a letter to the council explaining how the department had already used up its $40,000 overtime allotment this fiscal year, partly due to work its employees did at Doyle Field.

The city typically underfunds departments' overtime accounts, and it is common for a department head to request more money.

But it is unusual the DPW ran out of overtime money this early in the fiscal year, LaPointe has said.

The council's finance subcommittee met last Thursday night and decided to recommend that the full council approve the overtime spending.




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