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Library might not need bond $$$

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OGDENSBURG — The city may not have to include the cost of renovations to the library in $550,000 of borrowing that was approved last week.

The City Council on Monday voted 7-0 in favor of issuing a capital improvement bond of up to $550,000 to cover the cost of a $325,000 pumper truck for the Fire Department, $122,550 for a Zamboni machine for ice resurfacing at the city’s Richard G. Lockwood Civic Center rink and $102,450 for window and stucco replacement at Ogdensburg Public Library.

But the library at the same time is looking elsewhere for funds for the same purpose. Executive Director Wayne L. Miller has applied for a $104,443.80 grant from the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency.

A decision is due this month.

“Due to the timing, we couldn’t wait to make the bond request until we learned the fate of the grant application, so they are moving in parallel,” Mr. Miller said.

Clearly, he prefers a grant to debt.

“Because the bond is something that has to be repaid, it is, in essence, a loan. We would obviously prefer a grant,” he said. “In the past, bonding for the library has been deducted from our annual allocation from the city, which is already under a great deal of stress.”

City Comptroller Philip A. Cosmo said that the “up to” condition in the bonding resolution allows the city to drop the $102,450 for the library if the grant comes through.

The library already has $52,709.80 for the window replacement and anticipates another grant for $24,732 for the stucco repair. The bond includes the 50 percent local matches required for the grants.

The window repair work includes replacing three 40-year-old vinyl bow windows at the rear and the side of the first floor of the library that no longer can be cleaned.

Also, 44 wood-frame windows that were installed in the 1920s are stuck closed.

Mr. Miller said the windows need to be stripped and reglazed to improve their heat efficiency.

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