Repairs to Dallas' Central Library will top $1.3 million

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by SEBASTIAN ROBERTSON

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaasebastian

WFAA

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 21 at 4:50 PM

J. Erik Jonsson Central Library

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DALLAS –– The city of Dallas will have to pay $1.3 million to fix the damage sustained during a sewage pipe break at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. 

Assistant City Manager Joey Zapata sent Mayor Mike Rawlings and the Dallas City Council a memo with that figure on Friday. Generators have powered the library since the burst pipe damaged the electrical system two weeks ago.

According to Zapata’s memo, renting the generators costs $53,000 a week on top of another $43,000 in fuel. The money is coming from the city’s emergency fund. With the help of Oncor, the electrical contractor and the city staff finished a plan to restore the electrical system. The memo expects it to take five weeks. 

Through Oct. 9, the city has paid $345,000 to keep the library running, the memo says. There's still a possibility that some power cables were damaged but haven't been identified. Once the building is completely powered down, the contractor will analyze them and determine whether they'll need replacing. 

That should cost no more than $500,000. 

The leak has already caused the library to close for three days. Library Director Jo Giudice said the central library will have to close again on Sunday. 

“It probably couldn’t have been any worse,” she said

 The Dallas library system has seen its share of budget cuts over the years, forcing most branches to close on Sundays and Mondays. 

As crews spent Monday working on the electrical system, Giudice pointed out that, for the first time in years, the city approved a $1 million increase in her overall operating budget, something she hopes will lead to more open days.

“We are on the upswing, we can always use volunteers at the library that helps, getting more hours for the library is something that is going to have to come from budget increases over the next few years, but I feel confident that is going to happen,” she said.

Email srobertson@wfaa.com

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