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Greenburgh Seeks Solutions To Library's Problems

The children's room at the Greenburgh Public Library remained closed Tuesday from water damage. The Town Board concluded the library's issues need more than a quick-fix.
The children's room at the Greenburgh Public Library remained closed Tuesday from water damage. The Town Board concluded the library's issues need more than a quick-fix. Photo Credit: Samantha Kramer

UPDATED 3:40 GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Greenburgh Town Board is examining permanent solutions to the library's problems after structural issues forced the building to close several times and brought in the Fire Department twice in two days.

The Greenburgh Public Library hasn't been open for a full day ever since Jan. 23, after its crippled heating system couldn't warm the building against below-20 degree weather on Jan. 24. Flooding issues followed the heating problems when sprinklers unexpectedly went off Sunday and Monday, sounding the fire alarm and bringing Fairview Fire Department to the scene.

A lawsuit against the contractors is not off the table, the board concluded at Tuesday's work session meeting.

"I think we're all concerned about some of the problems that have been occurring at the library, because the building is not that old," Town Attorney Tim Lewis said. "We are exploring whether we're going to need to take legal action, and we are definitely taking steps to see how we can solve the issue."

Because insurance most likely will not cover the cost of the repairs, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner asked for a log of all the days the library has had to close due to heating and air conditioning problems over the course of the four years it's been in operation.

"When we're speaking to the contractors [Triton Construction] and the architects we can say, 'This is the cost that we've had,'" Feiner said. "I feel it's important that we hold the people who built the library accountable."

Nick Andreadis, chief executive officer of Triton Construction, said the mechanical and plumbing contractors, hired separately by the town, issue one-year warranties under their contracts and are not responsible for problems that occur outside of the year, he explained.

Additionally, he said, it's difficult to offer help when neither Triton Construction nor the board knows exactly what it is that's causing the problems.

"I would imagine if it was an ongoing thing, we would have heard about it," said Andreadis, adding that it was the first time he's heard about the problems. "Four years — that's a long time. If there was a problem brewing that the library's struggling with, there would be plenty of time to address it."

An engineer who was brought in to examine the building in September 2011 had said the library required additional research rather than just a general overview, said Public Works Commissioner Victor Carosi, but the board did not choose to look further into it because of expenses. Carosi suggested bringing in a consultant again to look into the current problems.

"This will, at some point or another, require the town to put additional funds into the library," Carosi said. "It may mean a lawsuit, it may mean contracting, it may mean consulting. We need that time now to put all the information together."

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