Plans for Tyler Public Library remodel moving ahead with City Council

Published on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 22:29 - Written by Kelly Gooch,

Plans for remodeling a library and a new city sewer facility continue to move forward, with construction on both expected to begin later this year.

The Tyler City Council on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for a $535,000 contract with The Construction Management Company for renovations at the Tyler Public Library, as well as a nearly $3 million construction contract with Crossland Heavy Contractors for the Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant Sludge Dewatering Facility.

Among the proposed renovation areas at the library are the children’s reading area and stacks, Taylor Auditorium, bathrooms on the first and third floors, “as well as installing exterior signage and enclosing the covered patio on the east side of the building,” according to a news release.

City librarian Mary Vernau said earlier this year that the library building is more than 30 years old, and the renovations will provide a fresh look. She previously said the rest rooms at the front of the library will have a different appearance, and vending machines will be moved so there is more room at the auditorium entrance.

The children’s area will have a “cottage front.”

“I think it’s really cute. It sets the children’s story room apart and makes it very inviting for children to go in and hear a story,” Ms. Vernau previously said.

She said earlier this year that in Taylor Auditorium, ceiling panels, along with a new sound system, will be installed.

Additionally, she is excited about signage that will go on the library, and the fact that a screened-in reading porch will be created, Ms. Vernau previously said.

“It (the reading porch) will offer reading space for people to enjoy when the weather’s nicest,” she said in January.

The goal is so start construction on the renovation project in August. It is being funded by a $636,036 bequest from the estate of longtime library patron Joyce Kathryn Findley.

For the Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant Sludge Dewatering Facility, which will be located off of County Road 46, plans include all of the necessary equipment for compressing sludge so it can be disposed of at a landfill or composting facility, said Greg Morgan, managing director of utilities and public works for Tyler. That means a concrete masonry unit block building, sludge feed pumps, polymer feed pumps and electrical equipment, among other things.

The city has been doing land injection of wastewater treatment plant sludge via a contractor, but by processing the sludge in-house, the city will save between $230,000 and $250,000 each year, once the new facility is operational, Morgan said.

He said the project, which has been part of the Tyler Utilities capital improvement budget, will take more than a year to construct, and run through two budget years.

Typically, he said, construction begins within 30 to 45 days from when the construction contract is awarded.

On Wednesday, the City Council also approved a Business Incentive Agreement with Trane/Ingersoll Rand, which has brought 55 new full-time regular jobs to Tyler.

Ten of the jobs are due to relocating a business line from Mexico, 14 are for powder coating work and 31 are for a new assembly line.

“We had an opportunity to bring a small product line that had been manufactured in Monterey, Mexico, back to Tyler,” Trane/Ingersoll Rand Plant Manager Ted Crabtree said in a previous statement. “This was an excellent opportunity for us to stabilize the seasonality of our workforce by more fully loading our build lines.”

“I think it’s a great day when we get a chance to retain jobs and more importantly grow jobs here in Tyler,” he said Monday by phone.

City Manager Mark McDaniel said Wednesday that with the incentive agreement, $192,500 will be paid to Trane/Ingersoll Rand over a four- year period via annual utility tax credits.

However, the incentive must meet certain conditions, according to a previous news release.

For instance, Trane/Ingersoll Rand must attain the specified job retention requirements, such as retention of 55 regular full-time jobs valued at $61,920 per job, including benefits, according to the release, and the incentive will only be credited if Trane/Ingersoll Rand retains the jobs throughout the term of the agreement without a net reduction in total jobs.