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Village Vision News

DCEO grant will help library with renovations

Thursday, January 30, 2014

On Jan. 15, the Forsyth Public Library received a contract for a Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant agreement.

The grant was applied for in December of 2012, according to Library Director Rachel Miller. Miller said the $200,000 grant application was written to finance the reinforcement of the library’s floor structure, to replace windows and to replace carpeting.

The grant carries a stipulated time frame dating back to Nov. 1, 2012 and ending Oct. 31, 2014. The grant applies only to projects started and completed within that range of time.

According to Miller’s report to the board the grant “allows for expenses from the beginning of the floor project to be included in the grant. Two years is the maximum time the grant agreement can cover, but extensions may be requested if needed to allow for completion of the project.”

On the agenda at the Regular Meeting of the Mayor and Board of Trustees on Jan. 20 was an item sponsored by Miller under “New Business” that read: “Approval of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Grant (DCEO) and authorization for the Mayor, Library Director and Treasurer to execute agreement.”

Miller told the board that she plans to use the grant so that the library can finance or be reimbursed for such projects as: the reinforcement of the library’s floor structure, replacement of windows and the replacement of carpeting.

Miller said the earlier mold remediation project will be covered by the grant because it is part of the overall window project.

Trustee Bob Gruenewald asked Miller if there was any risk of not finishing the projects in the required timeline and not making the deadline.

“Is Oct. 31, 2014 not adequate enough time?” Gruenewald asked.

“It will depend on mold,” Miller said, referring to the mold problem that hindered the window project previously. “With that many windows, that may delay it.”

Miller went on to say that there is a sequence that must be followed in such a project. She pointed out that carpeting can’t be put in until the windows are done. So a date can’t be set for installing carpeting until it’s known “how the window portion goes.”

Miller said that the state’s grant adviser had told her it’s not unusual for changes to crop up and that every grant needs modifications.
Trustee Bob Rasho asked about the process and if the grant would pay as the bills were sent in.

“Yes, they will reimburse us for what we’ve done,” Miller said.

Mayor Marilyn Johnson offered “a special thank you to Bill Mitchell for helping us with this grant.”

Trustee Kerstin Trachtenberg made the motion, which was seconded by Trustee Dave Wendt. All votes were yea, and the motion carried.

History of DCEO grant application

  • At Nov. 5, 2012 board meeting: trustees direct staff to pursue a $200,000 DCEO grant facilitated by State Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth. DCEO grants are designed to improve quality of life in communities across the state and often include community infrastructure projects.
  • At Dec. 3, 2012 board meeting: Trustees are presented with completed grant application and discuss scope of project. Repairs to library’s floor structure are initially the focus of the grant, but upcoming repairs to windows and carpet are included in the project. Project estimates are $245,000, with costs over $200,000 to be paid by the village. Trustees approve new scope of project and $45,000 in additional expenditures.
  • On Dec. 5, 2012: Grant application for “Forsyth Public Library Building Upgrade” is submitted to DCEO.
  • During 2013: Floor structure project is completed in January under budget; a “sample” window is replaced in summer to determine level of work needed for remaining leaky windows; in December, trustees award a contract for replacement of remaining library windows, but mold remediation if needed is not included.
  • On Jan. 15, 2014: Library receives contract for DCEO grant agreement.
  • At Jan. 20, 2014 board meeting: Agenda item is for acceptance of the grant and authorization to execute the agreement. Motion is carried by board.

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