FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Upgrades to the Fairfield Woods Branch Library and other town buildings got their final approval Monday night.
Fairfield’s Representative Town Meeting voted in favor of about $1 million in repair and upgrade projects at its meeting Monday night. The package included a new roof for the Fairfield Woods Branch Library, heating and air conditioning improvements at police and fire stations, an emergency generator at Old Town Hall, designs for a replacement of the Duck Farm Road Bridge and a continuation of the 10-year plan to renovate H. Smith Richardson Golf Course.
The work to the police and fire stations, the golf course and the Duck Farm Road Bridge, estimated at $737,000 combined, passed without comment Monday. But some RTM members questioned whether the town needed to spend $105,000 to install a backup generator at Old Town Hall and $200,000 to replace the Fairfield Woods Branch Library Roof.
Representative Jay Lipp suggested canceling the generator project. “I think at this time we can’t afford to spend money that we haven’t spent before on a program that we’ve done well for many years without,” Lipp said.
First Selectman Michael Tetreau and others said that Hurricane Sandy proved the need for a generator, as the building lost power for four days after the storm. Town Clerk Betsy Browne also noted that Fairfield’s vital records are stored in Old Town Hall, and if the building’s pipe froze and burst they could potentially be lost.
Representative Gaylord Meyer also suggested cutting the Fairfield Woods Branch Library repair from the package. Meyer said Monday that she knew the roof needed replacement, but felt that there would have to be other work at the library to remove mold caused by years of leaks. She suggested delaying the project until it included those costs as well.
But Library Board of Trustees chair Kristen Tierney stressed that the roof repair needed to be done as soon as possible. “We need this roof done. This is dire,” Tierney said. “Month after month the condition is getting worse and worse in that building.
The RTM voted to keep both the library roof replacement and the generator in the package. All six repair projects will begin later this year.