ANDERSON — The Anderson library board has approved funding for improvements to the parking lots north of the main branch.
The board voted Wednesday to approve a contract with E & B Paving in the amount of $217,435 to eliminate the wall between the upper and lower parking lots, removing the height difference and reducing the concrete wall on the upper lot along 12th Street and the alley to the north to six inches.
Work is scheduled to start in March and be completed by May 22. Library patrons will be directed to use the parking lot on the east side of Central Avenue until the construction work is completed.
The board had encumbered $114,654 for the project from 2013 and appropriated $102,781 from the Library Improve Reserve Fund to complete the project.
Included in the plans for the redesigned parking area is a single entrance and exit from 12th Street and an electronic sign at the corner of 12th and Main streets.
The board also approved a transfer of $150,000 from the operating balance to the Library Improve Reserve Fund.
Sarah Later, director of the Anderson Public Library system, has applied for funding from the city for federal Community Development Block Grant Funds.
Later said the city has approved a $53,000 grant if the funds are available.
A concern in obtaining the funds is a former gas station located at the corner of 12th and Main streets in the late 1930s and early 1940s that may raise environmental concerns.
The board hired HydroTech to do an environmental study of the area. The report indicated there might be underground storage tanks on the property and a concern about possible contamination from the AT&T building just north of the parking lot.
The board approved $1,300 for a ground penetrating radar study of the site to determine if underground storage tanks are present.
Later said if the library undertakes a second environmental study and underground tanks are on the property, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would require removal and cleanup.
Her recommendation to the board is that if the ground penetrating radar finds there are underground storage tanks, to stop the second environmental review and forfeit the $53,000 in federal funds through the city’s Community Development Block Grant program.
“If nothing is found we will report it to the city and they can report it to HUD,” Later said.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.
More about the improvements The Anderson public library is moving forward with $217,435 in improvements to the two parking lots on the north side of 12th Street. The work will include the removal of the wall separating the two parking lots, leveling off of the two parking lots, a single entrance and an electronic sign at the corner of 12th and Main streets. Construction is expected to start in March and be completed by May 22. Patrons are being encouraged to use the parking lot on the east side of Central Avenue until the construction work is completed.