The title isn't a warning, but it is something of a mayday! call. Here's where we are now.
Last week, we received 5 bids on the new library construction project. The bids were somewhat higher than expected, but the two lowest are within our budget, with a big caveat: there are some tasks that need to be completed and that will cost money, but that are not within the contract bids. We need a new septic tank, some project management, movement of both the water meter and the fire hydrant, landscaping when the job is done, carpets, and maybe water sealing the slab.
The Park and Rec District has agreed to cover the costs of asbestos/hazardous waste removal; Whatcom County Library Services is looking to cover air conditioning, but the other non-contract services need to be funded by the Friends of the Library. And--this is the mayday! part--we don't have much time, because the bids are valid only until September 23. By that date, Park and Rec must choose to accept one bid or turn them all down.
What is on our plate right now is the need for $60,000. That's the bad news. The good news is that two local residents already have, together, offered to match the first $30,000 donated. That means the plate needs only $30,000 by September 23. We think, we hope, we pray that's doable given the substantial support the community has offered over the past years to get this funding together.
We are out talking to individuals, groups, and businesses, asking for their help, but first of all we are talking to you, to the friends of the library: the people who know the kind of difference that a good library makes in a small community. We have only two choices right now: to raise the $60,000 or to give up on the project but we don't think this community is ready to give up.
If you can join with us and make yet another donation to the new library, please drop your check (made out to FOPRL) off at the library (during open hours) before September 23 or mail it to FOPRL, PO Box 970, Point Roberts, WA 98281. (If you have questions, ask Rose in the library or call me in Point Roberts, x3180.)
--Judy Ross, for The Friends of the Point Roberts Library