The New City Library Board of Trustees learned more about the possibility of a geothermal unit replacing the facility’s non-working boiler. The library has been operating with one boiler for most of the winter while bids were sought for repair or replacement of the non-working unit.
Trustee Anthony Feliciano, who serves as Building and Grounds Committee chair, told the board on Thursday that only two of the six contractors he contacted actually submitted viable bids for replacement and just one proposal came in for repair. He suggested the possibility of the board applying for a construction grant from the New York State Education Department. The application process begins in July.
Feliciano said he invited Smart Energy of New Rochelle to make a presentation at the next meeting. On its website, Smart Energy provides the following explanation: “Geothermal is an alternative energy source that takes the heat from the earth, where the temperature is a constant 55 degrees, and uses that energy to heat and cool your home or business.”
When Feliciano said it would take approximately six months to install geothermal, Ramapo Catskill Library System Executive Director Robert Hubsher noted that it would require 12 to 18 months because an engineer needs to determine if there is enough space around the library for the installation. He suggested the board contact Nyack Library officials who had geothermal installed for heating and air conditioning as part of an expansion project in 2010.
Although Feliciano said the construction grant could cover up to 50 percent of the cost, Hubsher pointed out that RCLS, which serves 47 libraries, would receive $590,000 to distribute to all applying libraries with the possibility that the amount could wind up to be considerably less than 50 percent.
Feliciano suggested repairing the boiler, which had been producing carbon monoxide, while the board researches a geothermal unit. Trustee Ed Kallen agreed but said the board needed to have two or three estimates. Feliciano said he would go back to the second contractor and request a repair bid. The board voted seven to one to vacate a prior motion to replace the boiler and instead repair it. Feliciano, who is the sole member of the committee, asked for additional volunteers to join him.