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Council questions some of library's 'must-have' list

J.J. Huggins, Sentinel & Enterprise, October 6, 2006

LEOMINSTER -- City councilors Thursday night questioned why the new library needs some of the appliances on the project's "must have" list.

"Why do they need four refrigerators and three microwaves?" at Large City Councilor Dennis Rosa asked during the council's finance subcommittee meeting at City Hall.

"Beats the hell out of me," replied at-large Councilor John Dombrowski.

No library officials attended the subcommittee meeting, which lasted about 15 minutes.

Library officials have previously said they plan to pay for furnishings and other items inside the new building with private donations.

Rosa, the chairman of the subcommittee, said he will ask library officials about the appliances when the council holds a public hearing regarding the library Tuesday night.

The new library is under construction and is supposed to open in the spring.

The city councilors discussed it Thursday night because Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella has asked them to appropriate an additional $1.3 million to pay for unexpected building costs.
The council already voted 7-2 last month to initially approve the $1.3 million allocation and a loan to cover it.

Rosa and Ward 5 City Councilor Richard Marchand cast the opposing votes.

Rosa explained Thursday night he did not vote against the spending because he opposes the library.

"We all support the library. It's a matter of how we'll fund it," he said.

Although the council already voted in favor of the spending, they must vote on it a second time to officially approve it.

They are scheduled to vote again Tuesday night.

Dombrowksi, during Thursday night's meeting, asked his fellow councilors if they had seen the building plan for the library.

City Council President Robert Salvatelli handed him a copy.

"I heard there are 12 bathrooms," Dombrowski said, explaining why he wanted to see the plans.

"There are," replied at Large Councilor James J. Lanciani Jr., who was one of several councilors who recently toured the building.

Dombrowski did not attend the tour.

Lanciani said the building needs so many bathrooms because it is designed to have lavatories in the children's area for safety reasons.

The children's' bathrooms will keep youngsters from having to walk to other parts of the building to use the facilities, Lanciani said.

Plus, the new library has staff bathrooms and other bathrooms for the general public, he said.

Ward 2 Councilor Wayne Nickel mentioned the number of bathrooms may also be required by building regulations.

The library spending created controversy last month because residents complained they don't want their property taxes to rise.

Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella previously said $14 is the most the $1.3 million appropriation will cost the average single-family homeowner within the first year.

But he said he plans to put free cash toward the $1.3 million in order to ease the burden on taxpayers.



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