Library's Expansion  | Newspaper Articles

Library costs may be in budget -
Leominster seeks overrun solutions
Mary Jo Hill, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, October 31, 2006

LEOMINSTER - Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella said he will likely have a capital budget ready next week that includes an additional $1.3 million needed to cover cost overruns for the library expansion project.

The city recently sold a house for $325,000 that is part of the property where Sky View Middle School was built, and there had been discussion by the City Council about using that money to help cover the library costs.
But Mr. Mazzarella said yesterday he did not know if some of the money for the library will "come from that pocket."

Another possibility discussed to cover the project's shortfall was free cash, or leftover state funding.

The mayor said he is working on certifying free cash for the city now.

The capital budget will include money for the library and other capital needs, such as updates of equipment, Mr. Mazzarella said.

Councilors bristled over the library's extra costs when they were asked recently to approve borrowing up to $1.3 million for the project. The loan authorization eventually went through, but not without criticism of the mayor.

Some councilors suggested other ways to fund the unexpected cost without raising taxes, but Mr. Mazzarella said it was too soon in the fiscal year to commit to other sources of funding.

The house near Sky View Middle School was part of a package of property Leominster bought in 2001 to build the new middle school. The 4,300-square-foot home has long been vacant and is dilapidated. The city sold the house, at 35 Page Ave., for $325,000 to Barbara Sidilau-Cantino, according to the registry of deeds. The deed was recorded on Oct. 10.

Ms. Sidilau-Cantino was the second highest bidder for the home, according to city Purchasing Agent Gregory C. Chapdelaine. The highest bidder at the auction in February was unable to complete the transaction, he said.



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