DM Library to get a new roof

The Del Mar Library is getting a new, safer roof along with the enclosed patio addition that is nearing completion, thanks in part to contributions from Supervisor Pam Slater-Price and the Del Mar Farmer’s Market.

The shake shingle roof on the existing library structure is a serious fire hazard that must be replaced by 2013, according to city codes. The city is taking advantage of the opportunity to replace it with a fire resistant Class A roof in conjunction with the patio enclosure project at a significant cost savings.

“It’s an important project for fire safety and it’s the right thing to do,” City Manager Karen Brust said at Monday’s City Council meeting.

The city council unanimously approved the $160,000 project, saying the pros outweigh the cons. The savings of doing the inevitable project now eclipsed concerns about spending money during the recession and the possibility more money would be required if significant termite damage is found under the old roof.

“This seems to be a manageable risk and wise decision,” Deputy Mayor Richard Earnest said.

The city will contribute $125,000, and having already socked away $80,000 for the re-roof, only $35,000 will need to be taken out of reserves.

The project was up in the air for a while because the city was unsure if it could afford it, even at such a good price, Brust said, so city officials approached the county and community groups for help.

Supervisor Pam Slater-Price contributed $25,000, having already donated $200,000 to the expansion from her community grants fund, and waived $8,100 in county project management costs.

“She has really stepped up,” Brust said.

The Del Mar Farmer’s Market also donated $10,000 toward the roof. The market is already buying furniture for the new area to the tune of $7,000.

“We are happy to help,” said Jacqueline Winterer, a farmers market board member, though she added the “cupboard is bare” and if more money is needed for the library, the city is going to have to look elsewhere.

While construction of the patio enclosure project is almost complete, work to replace the existing roof will not begin for another few weeks and take about a month to finish.