Selectmen reach agreement with donor, Taber Library to be renovated

Sep 20, 2017

It’s official: The Elizabeth Taber Library is getting a facelift.

Last summer, the library’s board of directors came to the selectmen with the possibility of renovating the front of the library to remedy accessibility concerns. The project would be paid for by donor and former library director Peggy Repass.

This June, members of the library’s board came back in front of the selectmen with a project that had grown into something a little more grand.

“It grew into a much larger project that involves a ramp and gardens,” Bob Raymond said at the time.

Since the selectmen gave their blessing at the meeting in June, town officials have been working with the town’s attorney and Repass’ attorney to come up with a contract to make it official. Instead of donating the money to the town for the work, Repass will pay for and manage the project herself. This way, it cuts down the cost of prevailing wages that the town would have to pay for.

“Getting this done has been quite an exercise,” Town Administrator Paul Dawson said. “There have been a myriad of new areas to explore.”

Having a private citizen do work on a municipal building was a new challenge for the town. The main concern of both parties was insurance – both the town and Repass wanted to make sure everyone was as protected by insurance as possible.

“It has been vetted and vetted again,” Dawson said. “It’s been approved by town counsel and by the counsel for the donor.”

The only thing left to do was to have the selectmen sign the agreement so work can begin.

“On behalf of the board and of the town, I’m extremely grateful,” Select Chair Jody Dickerson said. “[Repass] has been very generous to the town over the years.”