Alberton Library board has meeting to discuss how to pay for repairs
It takes time and money to correct damage that flooding caused to the Alberton Library, says the chairman of the library’s board of directors.
“We’ve got lots of time, but no money,” Alan Curtis said.
The damage, which led to air quality issues, was discovered in early May. The library was then closed so damaged gyprock could be removed from the basement and repairs carried out.
The building re-opened for a week in early June, but Curtis said it closed again after air quality tests revealed there was still a problem in the basement. The musty smell also returned.
There’s no set date for reopening, but, if everything goes well Curtis hopes the facility will reopen before the end of August.
Some follow-up repairs have been carried out but more work is still needed, he said. A nonloadbearing wall has been removed and another one still has to be taken out. Sills have to be sealed, a basement crawl space sealed off and the basement disinfected again. The damage is not covered by insurance.
Curtis noted the extensive flooding in early May occurred while the ground was still frozen and water couldn’t get away. There was evidence of more flooding after the initial repairs were carried out. Subsequent to that, curbing and landscaping work was carried out on the adjacent bank lot, which Curtis says directs water away from the library building.
The Alberton Library is a unique situation, explained Grace Dawson, the branch and community services librarian for rural libraries in the provincial system. It is the only library facility owned by a volunteer board. It’s operated that way for 62 years.
The board relies on a $2,000 grant from the Town of Alberton, donations and fundraising to cover its annual operating costs. The Provincial Library Service supplies the books and pays for a part-time library technician. The provincial government waives the property tax.
Curtis said the money the volunteer board had saved were used up in the first round of repairs. That has left them wondering where to turn.
The board called a public meeting for Thursday, July 30, to discuss the current situation and to reach out for recommendations.
The meeting will be held at the Alberton Arts and Heritage Centre at 7 p.m.