By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – The City Council approved much needed new exterior doors and lighting for the public library from budgeted library funds to replace the current fixtures, which are original to the building.
At the Nov. 21 council meeting, Librarian Theresa Kieltyka showed drawings of doors, in a light oak color, which would match the interior vestibule of the building, while Department of Public Works Director Larrie Ordus explained his purchase recommendations to the council.
Ordus said the vinyl doors look like wood, are insulated, and have a 10-year warranty, and the proposal includes the two side sections flanking the doors. He estimated the cost of the replacement doors would be less than $10,000 with installation.
Ordus said he checked on refinishing the existing, original doors, which were installed when the library was built in the early 1950s, and said even if he could find someone willing to do the work, the logistics of removing them, with no guarantee of how they would turn out, would be expensive.
Kieltyka said there is wear below the kick plate that allows insects, like june bugs, to get into the building, so refinishing the doors would not address that concern.
Mayor Stacy Bazman said money was allocated in the library fund for door replacement, and said it was important to maintain the architectural style of the building.
Kieltyka explained the current lighting deficits, and said there are 158 lighting panels, each of which holds four fluorescent lights, in the building, and currently 35 panels are not working because the ballasts, which regulate the current to the lamps, are no longer operable. She added that when there is power demand from other items in the building, like from the cooling system, it takes a long time for the lighting to turn on.
“We definitely need new lights, and I hope we get them soon,” Kieltyka said.
Ordus said he had several lighting experts in to look at the library’s needs, and he believes the new light-emitting diode lighting fixtures will cost $11,000 to $12,000, and could be installed by city personnel if needed. He said it would cost about $20,000 for the project in total if an outside contractor installs the lighting.
“You are going to get $1,200 to $1,500 – maybe $2,000 – back from DTE for savings on LEDs,” Ordus said. “Plus I will get you a chart on how much the electric bill will go down. In 10 years or less you will probably pay for the lights we put up with just the cost savings from the LEDs to the fluorescent lights we have now.”
Bazman said the city hall, the field house and the fire station have been converted to energy-saving LED lighting.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected].)