FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield Woods Branch Library and the Duck Farm Road Bridge are both being considered for upgrades in the near future, as part of a package of more than $1.2 million for this year's repair projects proposed for Fairfield’s town facilities.
The Fairfield Woods Library’s roof has been leaking for approximately six or seven years. As a result many of the library’s books have been thrown out because of water damage.
The Board of Library Trustees proposed a much larger renovation for the library last year, which would also expand its space and make the entire library handicap accessible. But the project’s estimate cost of between $8 and $13 million has postponed a definite renovation plan.
Instead the town is proposing a $250,000 project to replace the roof. The Board of Selectmen decided to put off its vote on the roof plan to get an update from the Board of Library Trustees on its renovation plans.
Duck Farm Road’s current bridge that spans the Mill River is more than 50 years old. The state Department of Transportation rated its condition as poor in 2010, and it is not rated strong enough to carry even residential oil trucks or snow plows, according to Public Works Director Joseph Michelangelo.
“This bridge is probably our worst,” Michelangelo told the Board of Finance Tuesday.
Michelangelo is asking the town government to authorize $300,000 in spending to start design work on a new bridge. He expects much of the span’s estimated $1.5 to $2 million cost to come from federal grants, which normally cover 80 percent of infrastructure repairs.
Other proposed projects include a $105,000 backup generator at Old Town Hall, $125,000 to hire a consultant to replace the town hall phone system, and a combined $332,000 for heating system improvements at the Fire Department headquarters and Fairfield Police station. The town also plans to set aside $105,000 for continued improvements to H. Smith Richardson Golf Course as part of its 10-year plan to redo the course.
The Recreation Department has also asked for $125,000 to install new lights at the Fairfield Tennis Center to cover the new courts being added by Fairfield Indoor Tennis. The Board of Selectmen delayed approval on that project a few weeks to get more information on the plan.
The Board of Selectmen signed off on the $837,000 for all but the library and tennis center work last week. The Board of Finance decided Tuesday to move its vote on the plans to Feb. 5 to get more information.