WATERVILLE — The City Council on Tuesday night will consider awarding contracts to companies for more than $100,000 worth of work to help restore Waterville Public Library.

The meeting will be held virtually at 7 p.m. and the public may access the meeting link via the city’s website, www.waterville-me.gov. Those wanting to take part in the meeting must contact the city clerk’s office by 5 p.m. Tuesday to receive credentials to sign in.

The council is scheduled to consider awarding an $86,382 contract to H.T. Winters Co. to replace the old carpeting in the library with carpet tiles, as well as a $35,000 to $39,000 contract with J.S. Industrial Arts Co. LLC for exterior window restoration. J.S. Industrial restored the woodwork in the building as part of a separate project the city approved last year.

The council also will consider approving OPAC Design Services to remove and replace the ramp outside the north side of the library and replace it with stairs.

The projects could be done with funds already approved for library work in a 2019 bond, according to the resolution councilors will consider Tuesday.

City Manager Steve Daly said Monday that council approval is only needed for the work contracts.

“The funding for it was done in the 2019 bond, so we’re dealing just with an administrative process now,” he said.

Library Director Tammy Rabideau said ongoing projects at the library, including upgrading windows and restoration of woodwork, were completed in January. The flooring replacement is expected to be completed this year and the work will start after the council votes Tuesday, she said. Most of the flooring in the building is 11-year-old carpeting that is worn, according to Rabideau.

“We will be replacing that broadloom carpet with carpet tile,” she said.

When the carpet was installed, it was cut around book stacks in some cases and those stacks were eventually removed, leaving holes in the carpet, according to Rabideau, who said the carpeting is on all four floors of the library.

“We certainly hope to have all first, second, third and fourth floors done as soon as we can,” she said.

The sashes and exterior panes of the windows were replaced, and interior frames were completed. Now, exterior work needs to be done, Rabideau said.

“The bulk of that work is expected to be scraping, painting and caulking,” she said.

As to the ramp on the north side of the building, Rabideau said it is believed to have been installed in the 1970s and is not required to be there.

“It really doesn’t serve the user anymore,” Rabideau said. “It’s not a public entrance, and it’s literally falling apart. We are proposing to remove the ramp and replace it with stairs.”

The library has been closed to the public since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, but it has remained very busy, conducting library-to-go services Monday through Friday, as well as offering virtual programs and dispersing 900 art and science kits over the last year, according to Rabideau.

In other business Tuesday, the council is scheduled to consider appointing a committee to find a permanent location for the City Council to meet. That panel also would look at short and medium-term options.

Until the pandemic struck, council meetings were held in the Chace Forum at the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons at 150 Main St., but after Colby College closed its buildings to the public due to the pandemic, the council met at the Mid-Day Cafe at Mid-Maine Technical Center at Waterville Senior High School.

Eventually, as the pandemic worsened, the meetings were held virtually.

The Waterville Public Library main entrance on Monday. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

In 2019 when meetings were held at the Colby-owned building, some people who attended council meetings argued that the city should find a location of its own. Some said they did not think it was appropriate to hold city meetings at a college-owned facility. Some objected to meeting there because Colby only allows law enforcement to carry firearms in its buildings. Some people said they had a difficult time hearing what was said at meetings from the rear of the room.

Colby had allowed the city to use the Chace Forum free of charge.

In a separate matter Tuesday, the council is expected to postpone voting on removing some downtown buildings from a downtown tax increment financing district and creating a separate district to place them in. The council has postponed taking a final vote on the TIF matter five times since Dec. 15.

Daly said the council is expected to table the matter to their next meeting, March 16, because the city’s consultant is still working on putting the final document together.

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