Rest Room renovation over budget

Friday, May 13, 2011

Renovation of the historic Ladies Rest Room is over budget and Lewisburg's Industrial Development Board, which plans to hold meetings there instead of City Hall, has appropriated more money for the project.

Built in 1929 as a place for farmers' wives to stop before the family shopped on Lewisburg's public square, the brick building would be falling down like the old red brick school house on First Avenue North, had the city not intervened, IDB Treasurer Sam Kirby said this week.

"The walls had wicked moisture from the ground and some floor joists had to be replaced," Kirby told the IDB during its monthly meeting.

Electrical wires were found without insulation, so the building had to be rewired, he said. The roof's solid membrane "is in good shape," but the roof was sagging and new lumber was needed. Such structural issues were found while addressing cosmetic issues.

"We had approval from the board for $20,000 with a $5,000 contingency fund," Kirby reminded the IDB. "It looks like we're going to need about $10,000 more."

All of that money may not be needed, Kirby continued, anticipating completion by a contractor. The work, so far, has been by city employees.

"The city," IDB Chairman Eddie Wiles said, "has been great with manpower."

The IDB receives money from businesses that are granted a property tax break through a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes Agreement. Since there are three such agreements that are to be finalized soon, Wiles concluded that the board would have sufficient funds.

Kirby emphasized the total of the original appropriation and this latest amount probably won't be surpassed.

IDB member Arnold Lilly moved to approve an additional $10,000 to the original $25,000 and the vote was unanimous.

"At the conclusion of this," Kirby said, "I will have a full report on all that was spent and on what."