By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – It certainly isn’t the usual government project. Repairs to the Blackmur Memorial Library not only were made on time, but under budget as well.
The project began when water damage was discovered in the 2002 addition. Mayor Bill Norris said that estimates for repair were in the $70,000 range.
That’s when Joe Newman, manager of the electric department, got involved. Newman presented a plan to the mayor and aldermen in February to use city workers to repair the damage.
Newman did some measuring and figuring and said that he could do the work for about $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 told the city board.
Newman predicted that it would take about two weeks for repairs after the books and shelving were moved the first week of March. The project was completed last Friday, after less than two weeks of work. And that not only covered repairs, but a new paint job as well.
When the costs were totaled, Newman said the price tag was approximately $6100, about $4000 less than his prediction and way less than the $70,000 estimates.
Coincidently, the 6100 figure is the same number as the amount of books and videos which now have to be moved back into the facility, according to Joe Gurner, librarian.
“I am impressed by what they have done and how fast they did it,” Gurner said, complimenting Newman and his crew.
Newman also had compliments for the city workers and civilian volunteers who turned out to help. “That’s what makes a community like Water Valley work,” Newman said. “We got it done.”