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Oct 3, 2017 4:45 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Library Heating System Failure Will Leave Building Without Heat For Weeks

Oct 4, 2017 9:56 AM

The heating system for the Hampton Bays Public Library has failed, and replacement units will take approximately three to four weeks to arrive, library officials said on Tuesday.

In a letter to patrons, Library Director Susan LaVista said the problem was discovered during routine maintenance a few days prior, and the library ordered the replacement units through its service contract with Thermal Solutions. Upon further investigation, servicemen found problems with the library’s three rooftop heating units and said they needed to be replaced, according to Ms. LaVista.

She added that the library will need to close for one day once the replacement units arrive so that they can be properly installed, but the closure has not been scheduled as of yet.

The estimated cost of the heating repair is $57,500 and comes after crumbling floor tiles in the main lobby required repair back in August.

Ms. LaVista speculated that both of these repairs could have been avoided had two previous proposals—one plan for $15.8 million and a modified plan for $9.9 million—to completely renovate the library been approved by voters. The plans included an entirely new heating and air conditioning system.

“Most of our systems have passed their expected lifespan,” Ms. LaVista said. “It’s certainly not a big surprise.”

In the interim, library staff and visitors have been advised to “dress in layers and expect it to be a bit chilly.” But she acknowledged that many patrons already consider the library a little too chilly.

“In truth, people complain all year round,” Ms. LaVista said. “It’s essentially an old system that was pieced together over many different additions but never fully revamped.”

She divulged that the last time the system was upgraded was in 2002 and “even then they didn’t do a comprehensive replacement to the whole system.”

Ms. LaVista said that based on discussions at some of the library board meetings, the library will not be proposing another renovation plan in the near future: “Voters were very clear, so for now we’re mostly addressing things as they arise.”

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Everyone that owns property knows that mechanical systems, roofs, etc. have useful lives and need to be replaced. Prudent managers budget for replacement and capital repairs. This should neither be a surprise nor should it be an reason for a new $10 million.building. Let's see, I need a new $8,000 air conditioner unit on my house so let me knock down my house and spend $400,000 to build a new house? Really? It was reported almost 3 years ago that the mechanical systems will need to be replaced ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 17 7:07 PM
8 members liked this comment
The entire board needs to be replaced if they do not know how to provide a capital reserve fund. This is done to have money for repairs and replacement of heating, roofs, asphalt and other repairs.
You can't just spent the budget each year without thinking about these things. Irresponsable board.
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Oct 3, 17 7:41 PM
2 members liked this comment
You ready to run for Library Board, because it seems no one else wants to!
By Robert I Ross (250), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 17 8:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
First of all, the library is an APPOINTED board not elected. they appoint themselves - we should press for an elected board and actually there are people who are interested in running.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 17 11:26 PM
4 members liked this comment

Please email me! Would love to chat.

By ValGordon (3), Middle Island on Oct 4, 17 10:42 AM
Ms. Gordon if you look through the Press archives you'll see that taxpayers in Westhampton wanted an elected library board as well. Trustees of taxpayer funded institutions should be elected. 17 of 24 LI association libraries already moved to elected boards simply by having the appointed trustees vote to change the libraries' bylaws to allow for taxpayer election of trustees. Visit www.wflelectedboard.org, the News tab, for more information as well. Westhampton's library board clings to appointments ...more
By st (129), westhampton beach on Oct 4, 17 8:19 PM
Maybe this is payback for the defeat of their expansion plan?
By HB90 (164), southampton on Oct 3, 17 8:51 PM
That's silly!

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 3, 17 9:01 PM
not so silly - maybe not payback directly, but ignoring the issues regarding the building until the building is ready to fall down and they get their new building. HB taxpayers need to pay very close attention to the quote here. THEY had the opportunity to fix and accrue for replacement - it is THEIR fault the building is falling apart - not the taxpayers and voters that didn't want to spend $10 million on a new building. Remember Susan LaVista does not live in HB
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 17 11:32 PM
I am seriously confused and concerned here. Who doesn't want the building to be maintained? The taxpayers voted down a $10 million new building and expansion - I have heard no one say that the building mechanics should not be repaired and replaced in necessary. I have been to several Board meeting with other residents and in fact we suggested that the Board come up with the plan and put it before the voters so the building does not continue to deteriorate. The is a major capital asset paid for ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Oct 4, 17 10:22 AM
1 member liked this comment
When 100% of the population utilizes a resource that only 10% of the population pays for, you will never keep up with the costs to maintain the resource.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Oct 4, 17 1:36 PM
I am not sure where you get those numbers from. there are approximately 5000 residential properties in HB that pays for the library. Different people use it at different times. I suspect it is closer to the other way around - 5000 properties pay for it and I suspect that they don't have 5000 patrons a day.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Oct 4, 17 1:58 PM
The library claimed that if they didn't get the vote that a piece meal approach would cost more because the people running the Library are idiots that put adding more library programs before necessary maintenance. Yes, it is a kind of payback to the voters because they approved the new library programs and ridiculous pay hike with benefits that was part of the budget. By the way, did y'all know the library got new computers this summer? Did y'all now they didn't need them? Didn't need them because ...more
By sharkbait (32), Hampton Bays on Oct 4, 17 6:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
17 of 24 LI association libraries allow for elections of trustees--simply by changing their libraries' bylaws. Westhampton and Hampton Bays libraries maintain self-appointed boards though taxpayers have called for elections. These trustees collect millions of tax dollars but will not allow democratic elections. We elect our school, village and fire boards. Library boards should be elected as well.
By st (129), westhampton beach on Oct 4, 17 8:27 PM
I agree st, it is an undemocratic process.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Oct 4, 17 9:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
What BS, All those years of budgets and $$$$$ allocated for those "Line Items" specifically for the maintenance of the building and equipment. Where did all that money go? Probably salaries & unaccountable miscellaneous perks. Beside,s with everyone glued to their Smartphones everyone has the ability to research anything at a touch of a finger, not to mention the limited resources of a library. So, bottom line in a few years libraries will be history, what a waste of taxpayer money...........
By The Crow's Nest (65), Red Creek on Oct 6, 17 9:23 AM
Speaking of BS, your entire comment is conclusory and offers little support.

Rest assured, the folks who use the facility on a regular basis don't think it's a waste of taxpayer money.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 6, 17 9:26 AM
First of all if the Library leadership does not properly maintain, repair and replace those capital items that need to be maintained, repaired, and replaced, no one will have a library to use since I am pretty sure based on the last vote, there will be no new building. The upkeep of the building should be their number one priority. They presented 4 scenarios to the public three years ago - two of which presented repairs and upgrades. The study was supposedly completed by a professional engineer ...more
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Oct 6, 17 10:02 AM
1 member liked this comment