The first phase of funding for lead dust and asbestos remediation at the Pulaski County Public Library was approved by the county council Monday. Council members voted six-to-one to let the library spend $25,000 out of its Rainy Day Fund, to help cover engineering and testing costs.
Library Attorney Justin Schramm said that funding will bridge the gap until the library can issue a general obligation bond to pay for the actual work. “Baker-Tilly, formerly Umbaugh, is working with us to put those numbers together, so we kind of have a cost estimate about what everything is going to be,” Schramm explained. “We are positive that, even with all this work included and with some of our old general obligation bonds that will be coming up in the next few years, that we can do this project and according to Baker-Tilly, even potentially reduce property taxes by the issuance of a new bond, since it’s going to be for less than what our old outstanding bonds were.”
Library Executive Director MacKenzie Ledley previously explained that remediation work will only be taking place in nonpublic areas of the Winamac library, and that all the public areas were found to be safe. Council President Jay Sullivan commented Monday that the work is definitely needed, and the library has little choice.
Council Member Mike Tiede cast the lone opposing vote against the library’s $25,000 additional appropriation.