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Blackmur Library Damage Will Be Repaired Using City Labor

The east entrance to the Blackmur Memorial Library will be used while repairs are being made to the water damaged addition.

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – The city could save as much as $60,000 for repairs to the water damaged Blackmur Memorial Library under a plan approved by alderman.

Damage is confined to the 2002 addition and is estimated at about $70,000, according to Mayor Bill Norris.

The plan, which was presented by Joe Newman, manager of the electric department, is to use city workers to repair the structure. “If I can help, I want to help,” Newman told alderman at their first Monday meeting on February 11.

“I did some measuring and figuring. And, for something in the range of $10,000 if the city will provide me with some help, I can fix it,” he added.

Newman explained that he didn’t have time to use his entire electric department crew to work on the library. He requested two or three workers from other city departments to work with him and one worker from his department.

“We’ve still got to keep the lights on and the meters read,” he said.

Newman predicted that it would take about two weeks for repairs to be completed after the books and shelving was moved.

The library will remain open throughout the process, according to library board president Rubye Carr.

Librarian Joe Gurner said that a side entrance with handicapped access will be used.

Construction of the addition began after the city received a state grant in 2001 that was matched by local funds of around $100,000, according to Mayor Norris.

“The contractor who built it is out of business,” the mayor added, referring to Gillis Construction Company of Sturgis.

City Attorney David Burns reported to the mayor and board that the city’s insurance company had denied the claim citing an exclusion in the policy based on findings that the damage was the result of surface water. “We are looking at other options,” he said.

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