When the Board of Selectmen first reviewed the list of $1.2 million worth of non-recurring capital projects earlier this month, they were hesitant to approve three of them because they had more questions.
On Wednesday, with their questions answered, the selectmen voted unanimously to rescind the $837,000 they approved Jan. 2, and instead approved $1.16 million in bonding. They added two of those three projects back to the list -- a new roof for the Fairfield Woods Branch Library and new lights at the tennis center on Old Dam Road.
The selectmen did not approve restoring $125,000 to the bonding package, which had been intended to hire a consultant to review town offices' phone system.
Public Works Director Joseph Michelangelo said there was more study of the library roof bids, visits to the site, and consulting with the Board of Education, which he said has much more experience with roof projects. He said he is confident that $200,000 will cover the roof project.
He said there are numerous spots where the roof is leaking, causing damage to the library's interior, as well as books and furnishings.
Selectman Kevin Kiley sought assurances that if the library roof is fixed, the money spent would not be wasted if the branch library is expanded in the near future, "unless there is something drastically different about the next building." Michelangelo said whatever is done underneath the roof line would not affect the new roof.
"I do agree we have to do something to replace the roof, and protect the resources there," Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey said.
She added that it remains to be seen what, if anything, will be done to expand and renovate the branch library. "It is a significant sum of money, and we do need to spend it now. It is an uncomfortable, but necessary vote."
Recreation Director Gerald Lombardo, who was not available to attend the Jan. 2 meeting, said lights at the tennis courts need to be replaced. The new ones will be more energy-efficient and cause less light "spillage" to surrounding neighborhoods. He also said that the new equipment means the six tennis courts will require fewer lights and posts.
The cost for the new lights is estimated at $125,000 and provides annual energy savings of $2,500 to $3,000 a year.
There are five tennis courts at the center; a sixth court is being added as part of the construction of a new tennis center and teen center by the Fairfield Tennis Center owner, which manages the indoor tennis "bubble" courts during the winter. Lombardo said work has begun by the Fairfield Tennis Center to remediate asbestos in the building in preparation for its demolition.
Lombardo said he hopes to bring in additional revenue for the town by conducting tennis lessons on the sixth court.