Thursday, January 26, 2006

2006 Warrant Articles

2006 Town Warrant Online and the Library's Warrant Article

With the 2006 town elections in March, you may want to review the many warrant articles up for consideration. In addition to being posted at the library they are available online on the town's website at You will need to have the Adobe pdf Reader on your computer in order to download this file.

Article 16 is being proposed by the library and reads: "Shall the Town of Hampton vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $59,500 to make repairs to the Lane Memorial Library, including addressing the
problem of the handicapped ramp access in the winter? Such authorization shall include all design, architectural, engineering, demolition, removal, procurement, construction, landscaping, shipping, deilvery, and training costs, together with all appurtenances necessary or desirable to complete such projects. Majority Vote Required." Recommended by the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee.

The problem with the library's handicapped ramp every winter stems from the fact that it is open to the elements and that the edge of the roof overhangs the ramp, causing problems with falling snow and dripping icicles. Sometimes the situation gets so bad that we have had to close the ramp due to thick
ice on the surface of the ramp or the danger from falling snow and ice. Hopefully this will be the last winter that we will have such problems.

Though the ramp is called a handicapped ramp, it is used by mothers with children in strollers, citizens with knee problems who find the steps difficult, asthmatics who find the gentle incline easier than steps, and a host of other people who would not call themselves handicapped, but who use the ramp. It is not just for those with crutches, wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Librarians carrying their typical library bags often use the ramp so they don’t have to free up a hand for the railing by the steps.

The Library Board of Trustees investigated three possible solutions to the problem of winter snow and ice build up. One solution could be to enclose the ramp. The estimates given were well over $100,000. Another solution could be to just extend the roof line over the ramp and build supports to hold the extended roof. Though estimated at around $100,000, the proposed roof was not compatible with the building. The last option investigated was to place heating coils in the ramp which would be activated only at certain temperatures to prevent the snow and ice from building up. This last proposal is the one the Board chose to pursue as being the only one that was under the Capital Improvement Committee’s recommendation of a $75,000 cap. The ramp would still need to be shoveled in snow storms, but the residual snow and the drips from the roof along with the occasional light snow flurry would melt and not become ice build up.

The newest and main part of the library building is more than 20 years old now and the oldest part is 96 years old. We are doing what we can to repair some of the wear and tear problems that have developed. The original building’s roof was replaced this year and the interior of the entire library was painted – the first new coat of paint in 20 years! Last year’s warrant article was to replace the entrance doors. It took three requests for proposals before we received any bids. We finally were able to sign a contract in December. Timing is everything in the construction world; we had to wait until their regular construction season slowed down. The glass has been ordered and we hope to have work on the replacement doors started by the time we are in Deliberative Session on February 4th.


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