February 19, 2009

Library project comes in $303K under budget

The city closed the books this month on the $12 million expansion of the Main Library and determined that it not only got done on schedule, it also came in $303,000 under budget.

“I’ve never seen that before,” said city Councilor Frank Nicastro, liaison to the library. “What a great job they did.”

Longtime Library Director Francine Petosa said the expansion, which doubled the library’s space and vastly increased its parking, has proven a hit for the community and “a highlight of my career” as well.

“The community embraced this project and continues to do so,” Petosa said.

Finance Chairman Rich Miecznikowski said he’s heard “nothing but good comments” about the work.

The result is “a beautiful, beautiful facility,” Mayor Art Ward said. “It is definitely a part of the community. It is definitely being used.”

He called it “a tremendous project” and commended all of the officials involved in it.

City Comptroller Glenn Klocko said the excess money for the project is pumped back into supporting the debt service on the bonds that were sold to pay for the expansion.

The city cut an $8.5 million deal in 2004 with W.J. Mountford Co. of South Windsor to carry out the bulk of the construction work, which was largely finished within a couple of years.

Since then, the city has been tying up loose ends on the project, a process that is typical of large construction jobs.

In addition to the construction costs, the city spent about $3.5 million on architects, overseers and other project expenses, including property acquisition.

Petosa said she’s happy that it all came together so well.

“Our expectations have been exceeded in so many ways,” Petosa said.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

AND it is beautiful! Now let's clean up the neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

And who is Kloko to decide how that money is used?

Art, get a backbone!

Anonymous said...

dont' leave it to Artie...He will give it to the unions.

Anonymous said...

2:50, Art's backbone seems just fine, however your constant barrage of anonymous, childish insults does bring the condition of your's into question....sounds like its made of jello!

Anonymous said...

It's a nice addition overall and money well spent. But i've seen the roof leaking several times. And the a/c units on the roof look absolutely atrocious. Couldn't they have found a better way to outfit the building and blend in the a/c units to not be so visable? It looks like a factory and ruins the historic architectural ambiance of the building and neighborhood big time. Inside came out pretty nice. Now if we can just convince the staff to be a bit more helpful and pleasant!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Francine Petosa is any relation to Union Kingpin Mike Petosa?

Just a stiff said...

3:16 - can't be because, Jello, at least,has a shape and some substance.

Anonymous said...

thank you Councilman Zoppo-Sassu, who was library liason when the project was started and under construction and had all the issues, and all the other people behind the scenes who helped. Mr. Nicastro does not make my list.

Anonymous said...

Mike Petosa is Francine's little brother. Mike Petosa's wife Chris also works in the City Comptroller's office. What a perfect council candidate he would make....the republicans must be frothing at the mouth. Are the Dems in town really that dumb to put him up as a candidate?

Anonymous said...

I believe the 2 Petosa's are in-laws.

Anonymous said...

9:51 poster,

dont forget Ward is Mike Petosa's lap dog!!

Anonymous said...

Much of the credit goes to "She Whose Name Must not be Spoken in Kindly Terms Here", Ellen Zoppo.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

Inevitably like any other building there are going to be some maintenance issues. And while the A/C might not look that attractive on the roof it does seem better than if it were on ground level on the side or rear of the building.

As someone who's used the library services since I was a child I can say I am very proud of the work and happy with the result.

Now lets get some more books in there!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to Ellen Zoppo and Chris Ziogas, who were the Council and Board of Finance Liason, respectively to this project. The library board did an outstanding job on this wonderful project that will be a cornerstone to the Center of Town, eventually.

Anonymous said...

I say thanks to the one that started the idea for an expanded Library!

Anonymous said...

I guess it was helpful that the city bamboozled that poor citizen into removing the " historical " home from the site for free and later having the " eyesore " torn down @ the owners expense .

I realise some might think the citys' actions were devious , but , hey .... it saved the taxpayers $ 300 K .

Anonymous said...

"the city bamboozled that poor citizen into removing the "historical" home....

The only one who sounds "bamboozled" is you. The "historical" home was more of an "hysterical" (and dangerous) hovel that needed to be demolished before someone got hurt. Nothing "devious" about that.

Anonymous said...

"Many thanks to Ellen Zoppo and Chris Ziogas, who were the Council and Board of Finance Liason, respectively to this project."

Ziogas and Zoppo are Federal Hill people and they wanted a nice library in their own backyard. Yea the expansion is nice. But they should of built a new library in the real downtown. This library will never be a centerpiece because it's location is out of the way up the hill. It is a centerpiece of Federal Hill not Bristol downtown.

Anonymous said...

Re: 1:57

It truly is sad to be so cynical. Who cares where it is? That's where it always was and should be. Where would you want it, in the middle of a plaza on route 6? Get over your disdain for Zoppo, Ziogas and Federal Hill.

Anonymous said...

the project ended Zoppo;s career since her efforts to keep it on track caused the bad blood with the library director who then accused her of a bunch of stuff during the election. Of course the fact the director is completely incompetent never entered into the discussion.......or the fact that Ward doesn't have a library card and won't bother his union buddy's sister.

Anonymous said...

9:01 You make it sound like the library director did not want the building project and Zoppo rammed it through anyway. That's not true.

more than two said...

ellen and chris, stop patting each other on the back and recognize the many other people who served on the committee also. it wasn't the chris and ellen show as you want us to believe, time for some commercial breaks.

Anonymous said...

The idea for the New/Expanded Library was the result of the Library Board looking at their 5 years needs at the request of the then mayor in the early 90's.

That got them thinking and the realization of the needs grew and resulted in the determined need for expansion.

Many people played a role, from mayors and Board members, the Director and Council people.

Lets give them all credit: it is a facility Bristol can be and should be proud off.

Just lets not cut back on supporting it!!!

Anonymous said...

Re: 10:20 am

You are correct - add Kosta to the list. Ellen is gone from the Council, Chris is gone from the BOF and Kosta is gone from Hartford - all losses for the city.

Anonymous said...

Nothing "devious" about that.

February 21, 2009 12:15 PM


Before the poor fellow invested his own cash into the move , the house was presented to him by the city as being an historical property in need of saving .

After he made his sizable investment into preserving a supposed historical building , the city changed it's mind and suddenly decided it was a deathtrap and removed it without court approval or notifying the homeowner .

Judging by your stance , I can only assume you also drank the obama kool-aid .