Mr. Martin provided his letter to the Library Board and I would like to respond. Feel free to talk with Dr. Hommerding or myself in person, as often it’s easier to understand the scope of a project when individual points can be reviewed.
His note conveys his opinion but does have a misunderstanding relating to the solar project. The Board recently decided to move toward offering a competitive negotiation package (which includes site inspection & planning, design and engineering reports) that would enable us to evaluate whether to proceed with solar project or not. Like Mr. Martin, we are concerned about the payback.
We see the solar project as potentially beneficial to the library and the community. We are also moving in uncharted territory as no one has designed solar trees that have beauty and functionality. It is why the competitive negotiation package is proposed. We also are investing a portion of this project in art because the solar collectors will be part of structures that look like trees. This will add to the appearance of our facility as well as being functional.
To accuse us of irresponsibility is unfair. We did not spend $9 million for the library construction expansion and renovation. In addition, parts of the renovation would have needed to be done in the not distant future so that was being proactive. The project, in fact, was completed on time and under budget. Funds to do so were always transparent, a fact substantiated by professionals. The completed construction speaks for itself. Dr. Hommerding’s intention was never for credit for himself, but for the maintenance and advancement of the library facility and services. Our intention was and is always to serve the community.
We are also aware that no project engenders the support of everyone, but we hope that Mr. Martin will come to understand that we are striving to prepare for the future.
Sallie Seabury, President
Library Board of Directors