Byron Council approves $10K for library air conditioning

Telegraph correspondentJuly 8, 2013 

BYRON -- City Council will spend $10,375 to replace a broken air conditioning unit at the city’s library so it may reopen.

Councilman Mike Chumbley’s recommendation that the expenditure to replace the library’s air conditioning unit be made from the city’s expenditure contingency fund was unanimously approved.

Chumbley, who heads the council’s budget committee, said without air conditioning and with temperatures inside the building reaching 90 degrees, the library has had to shut down until repairs are made.

There was no time frame given for when the library would reopen.

Though the library is part of the Peach County library system which staffs and operates libraries in Fort Valley and Byron, Chumbley said the city owns and maintains the library building in its city.

Council documents show the library will get a 10-ton air conditioning unit installed by Bucky Holland Heating and Air of Macon.

Also Monday, two groups of citizens appeared before council offering funds and a recommendation that the city refurbish its old city hall building at the corner of Murdock Lane and Academy Street for use by citizens wishing to continue meeting there and for use as a facility available to the city’s cemetery.

The building is adjacent to the city-owned cemetery.

Bob Murdock said he was part of one organization among many who meet in the building and want to see it upgraded for continued use. He said after an unofficial survey of the building, he estimated it could be improved to better suit community meetings and needs at a cost of $25,000 to $30,000.

Murdock said he had a check he was willing to present to the city for $25,000 from himself and others toward upgrading the facility for its use by public groups.

Jan Davis, speaking on behalf of the city’s garden club, the Village Green Garden Club, offered council an undisclosed sum to upgrade the facility with bathrooms and as a site for use by those conducting funerals at the city cemetery.

Davis said until last year the garden club had helped operate and care for the cemetery. She said funds being made available were for use for the cemetery but were available to make the old city hall building an asset to the cemetery and those families it served.

She said monies the group wanted to turn over to the city were from various fundraising efforts, investments and monies the group had collected since opening an account and making investments for the cemetery in the 1970s, including funds paid for cemetery lots.

Council agreed to look into the best way to receive the funds and designate them for use for the old city hall and cemetery.

“We have citizens coming bearing gifts,” Mayor Larry Collins said. “We want to make sure we maximize them.”

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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