Library's Expansion | Newspaper Articles
Council ponders Leominster library needs
Count of bathrooms, refrigerators, microwaves raises
questions about expansion
Mary Jo Hill, Telegram & Gazette, October 6, 2006
LEOMINSTER— Questions continued to swirl around the library
project yesterday, with city councilors asking if the
building will have 12 bathrooms and why it needs three
full-sized refrigerators, a minifridge and three microwaves.
The council’s Finance Committee was considering the second
reading of a loan order that would allow Mayor Dean J.
Mazzarella to borrow up to $1.3 million more to finish the
expansion and renovation of the library.
Rather than make a recommendation, the committee asked for
more time, since a public hearing will be held Tuesday on
Councilor Wayne A. Nickel suggested more time, with
Councilor Dennis A. Rosa adding, “In case there’s new
information, you never know.”
Mr. Rosa started the discussion by acknowledging the request
for additional money has been controversial, sparking a
minority and majority report on the Finance Committee.
But Mr. Rosa emphasized the committee is only divided about
how to fund the request for $1.3 million.
“We all support the project. I want to make that very
clear,” he said. “Again, we all support the library and it’s
a matter of how we fund it.”
Some councilors have suggested finding sources other than a
loan for the additional funding to avoid a bigger tax hike.
But Mr. Mazzarella has said he cannot commit to other
sources yet because it is too early in the fiscal year, but
he will do his best to minimize borrowing.
Last night, Councilor John M. Dombrowski asked if councilors
were shown plans when they originally voted on the project.
Councilor Robert A. Salvatelli handed him a notebook with
“I heard there were 12 bathrooms,” Mr. Dombrowski said as he
looked through the notebook.
Councilor James J. Lanciani Jr. told him there are. The
children’s area has child-sized commodes, which is a safety
issue so the youngsters do not have to go to the other end
of the building.
There also are staff bathrooms, and others for the public,
Mr. Lanciani said.
Mr. Nickel said he did not know how many of those bathrooms
He provided an example of someone he knew building a pizza
shop in the city who would have had to build two fully
handicapped accessible bathrooms if he put tables — rather
than just a counter — in the shop.
Mr. Rosa said the library has indicated it needs three
full-sized refrigerators, a minifridge and three microwave
ovens when it opens.
He said he assumes there is a break room, but with that
number of appliances there must be break rooms on three
floors, he said.
He asked whether there was a dining facility in City Hall.
Mr. Lanciani said a microwave and a refrigerator are in the
janitor’s room and there is a microwave at the back wall of
Plans posted on the library’s Web site show space in the
building designated as a café and other space for a staff