The New City Library has two boilers, although currently one is working while the other one is shut off and potentially dangerous.
At Wednesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting, Trustee Anthony Feliciano, chair of the board’s Building & Grounds Committee, said the contractor in charge of the boilers told him earlier that day that one of the boilers could possible emit carbon monoxide if turned on.
“It’s dangerous,” he said. “The repair has to be done. There’s no need to go back and forth.”
Feliciano said the two boilers are twins, purchased at the same time more than 16 years ago. He added that both should be repaired, as they’re on their last legs. He talked to four companies and only one told him they’d do the repairs, while the others all told him to just replace it. The repair would cost $6,250, according to Feliciano.
The discussion about the boilers started in the first meeting Wednesday night, which was the board’s annual meeting to start the year. It concluded at the board’s second meeting, which was its normal January meeting.
After much discussion, the board voted to put off paying for the repairs while Feliciano called back companies this week to hammer down more details. Once he finds out more information, it was voted on that the executive committee could hold an emergency meeting at their earliest convenience to sign off on the cost of two new boilers. The executive committee, which handles emergencies, is made up of the officers of the board of trustees.
During the meeting, Feliciano was unsure of how long it would take for new boilers to be put in or a rough cost.
“We don’t know how long it’s going to take,” said Trustee Ed Kallen. “So the issue is $6,000 now or substantially more money later on, but we’d still need [a new boiler].”
Board members argued over which direction to take, with some saying the issue is an emergency that needs to be taken care of immediately.
“If something happens right now as we speak, the other one falters, you’ve still got to replace one of them or both of them,” Trustee Tom Ninan said, adding that this could be an issue of public safety.
“Are we jeopardizing the public, our staff and ourselves by being here?”
Others acknowledged that this is an emergency issue, but said they weren’t sure if paying for the repairs made sense without concrete details on purchasing new boilers, which they added was a necessity even with the repair to the one boiler. Ninan even said the repair would be “putting a Band-Aid” on the problem.
A few board members said that while it will probably take long to get new boilers, it could prove more cost efficient moving forward. Feliciano said the one company willing to do the repair told him it could hold up for a year longer.
Trustee Jeff Greenberg said spending the money for the repair without more knowledge on purchasing two new boilers could be “tantamount to wasting public funds.”