Ledyard — Tropical Storm Ida’s effects here included irreparable damage to the phone system at the Bill Library.
Town councilors on Wednesday night approved spending up to $4,000 to put in a new system.
Councilor William Saums said a possible option of linking the library’s phones to the Town Hall system was considered, but purchasing a new system “seems to be the least expensive alternative, by far.” He said it’s under the $5,000 threshold required to obtain multiple bids for projects, and will provide the best method of restoring phone service at the library.
The phone system was 10 years old and located in the library’s basement, Mayor Fred Allyn III said, noting “Electronics and basements are probably not ideal.”
He said he had been trying to relocate the phone system but that wasn’t possible because all the incoming wires would have to be moved upstairs. Plans call for the new system to be mounted in a weather-proof box on a plywood panel in the basement.
Allyn said the bid for the project has come in at $3,235.
“It’s a wise investment”, he said, “given where the location of the phone system has to be, and to protect it from moisture.”
The mayor said the library does have a dehumidifer operating in the basement, but Ida caused a driving rain to hit the north side of the building, sending water through the sheathing of the structure and damaging the phones. Work also is being done to pull the damaged sheathing off, and make the library more water-tight.
In other action, the Town Council transferred $162,474 from the Ledyard High School Track and Field project to the town’s General Fund. The money was a surplus from the completed upgrades to the school’s athletic facilities.
Saums said those funds may be used for a new scoreboard at the school’s multi-use athletic field and to replace the aging fencing on the Gallup Hill Road side of Ledyard High. The proposals will be examined by town planning review officials. Saums, who heads the Town Council’s Finance Committee, said the panel believed they are worthwhile projects, but should go through the proper review channels.