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— City council members on Monday approved the budgeted expenditure of $19,600 to tuck-point the westside wall of the renovated Gentry Public Library building.

A line item of $20,000 was in the 2009 budget to seal the exterior walls of the library, but the council had earlier decided not to seal the building until all the exterior walls had first been tuck-pointed.

Robert Krein offered to complete the wall for just under $20,000, saying the higher cost for the wall was because of all the windows to work around and the scaffolding needed to complete the job. He estimated that he would be able to start on the job soon.

After the west wall is completed, only a portion of the north wall remains to be done. Krein told the council the mortar on the remaining portion of the north wall was in pretty good condition and could probably be repaired for about $2,000 or tuck-pointed for about $7,000. No firm bid was offered by Krein because he wanted to look at the wall again before making a firm offer to do the remaining work.

The council unanimously approved - with Michael Crawford absent - going ahead with the project on the west wall. If possible, additional money may be included in next year’s budget to finish the tuck-pointing and repair and seal up the building - along with the brick front on the Senior Activity Center.

Debate took place between council woman Janie Parks and Mayor Wes Hogue over other problems with the building. Parks argued that there were still water leaks in the north wall, which were within the scope of SSi’s contracted work, mentioning also water-damaged sheet rock and rotten floor boards.

“I don’t see why we should have to dig into our budget to repair what SSi did wrong,” Parks said.

Hogue argued that the leaks and damage occurred after the warranty on the work had expired - a year after the city took occupancy for its first quilt showthere - and that he had done all he could under the contract documents approved by a former city council.

“I was obligated by law to adhere to the contract documents,” Hogue said. “I can only do what my legal obligations are under the contract.”

Councilman Kevin Johnston said he thought he knew the source of the leak on the north side of the community room and asked Hogue to take a look at it.

“We just need to find the problems and fix them,” Johnston said.

The council also unanimously approved a new policy for use of the community room at the east side of the library. The policy was recommended bythe library committee and by the independent nonprofit library board.

The new policy makes it possible for city of Gentry agencies and local community non-profit cultural or civic organizations providing free public programs to use the facility without cost. Fees for other groups and individuals were lowered to a $50 deposit and a $10 per hour rental fee.

The change was made to accommodate increased local usage of the facility by making it free or more affordable for groups and individual to use the public facility.

The policy also outlines rules and requirements for use of the facility.

For more information or a copy of the new policy, contact the Gentry City Hall.

News, Pages 1 on 11/04/2009

Print Headline: Council approves more tuck-pointing at library

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