Fairhaven Library will get repaired

Byy On

The Fairhaven library won yesterday at the Bellingham Library Board meeting. After years of ignoring the building, the board voted to ask the city council to fund needed repairs. City council member Jack Weiss, who is the liaison to the board, told the board that he thought the council would be receptive to the request.

There was discussion and concern about whether the council and city Public Works can act quickly enough to get the needed exterior stucco repaired this summer. Lets hope so. The city has known of that bad stucco for years and each winter it is worse.

As one who has been close to this process for many years, I’ve a suggestion for the city council. To make needed repairs is only about one million dollars - not the two million the board is asking for. The board just casually decided on two million because that is the approximate estimate in their BOLA report - the study done of the building in 2006.

But the BOLA report gave the library a high estimate - which is what the board wanted so as to give it more reason to wrap Fairhaven repairs in the bond issue. The bond issue the council decided to drop. If the council looks closely at the report - and even listens to the Friends of the Fairhaven Library - then the cost can be cut in half.

Disclaimer: Gentle reader, I was one of the founders of the Friends of the Fairhaven Library in 1992 when the city tried to close down the beloved service. I’m one of those who has studied the report closely. We took a tour of the building with the city engineer from Public Works who is in charge of the project. He is the one who helped us realize that one million dollars would do the job. The second million would make nice renovations - but they are not needed.

Finally, Herald reporter Sam Taylor no longer even sees me. When he left the board meeting, he had to walk right past me and looked straight ahead. Maybe he is punishing me for criticizing him. He is young and still learning. Sam, there are two problems with freezing out people you disagree with. One, as a reporter you will find your access to sources reduced. And two, in this small town you will find yourself disagreeing with most every mover and shaker within three years. Ease up. It can be more fun.

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

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