The council voted 6-0, with Councilor Claudia King absent.
In its last chance for action, the council voted on three separate orders, and suspended rules to allow public comment. The council had already held a public hearing on Aug. 25, so it did not have to allow public comment at Monday’s meeting.
Councilors first voted on the bond order, which authorizes the town to spend $2.8 million to finance half the cost of renovations and expansion at the Lunt Road library. The other half will be provided by a capital campaign run by the library.
The council then formally submitted the bond order to referendum on Nov. 4, with an amendment saying the council recommends passage of the referendum.
Councilor Russell Anderson said that while he doesn’t “think any project has a right to taxpayer money just because it’s a good idea,” this project has evolved over time because of multiple conversations, and that he supported all three votes on the matter.
Finally, councilors approved an order for the town manager to execute a memorandum of understanding between the library and the town.
During the public comment portion, speakers representing the library said they were grateful for the council’s help in the process.
Library President Mark Porada broke down several estimates for significant maintenance and repairs over the next five years in the current library that would cost more than $336,000 and be included in the project.
They include replacing carpets, updating the sprinkler system, replacing the front brick hallways, updating windows and replacing the inadequate roof structure of the Iverson portion, and switching to natural gas.
Porada also said projected pre-construction costs for library expansion would cost $302,000. This would include design development, survey revisions, construction documents and bidding, plus others, which would occur in the nine-month period leading up to construction.
The cost per square foot for the project, according to Porada, is a little over $300, which includes demolition and construction.
The council also scheduled a Sept. 22 public hearing on the referendum. This is a legal requirement, according to Council Chairwoman Karen Farber, and not an opportunity for persuasion of the council. She said a public hearing on the referendum had to happen before the November vote, but not before the council made its decisions.
Councilors also unanimously confirmed the appointment of Allison Bishop to another three-year term on the library board of trustees.