SHARON Buildings require repairs

Sharon will have to borrow more money for the projects.
SHARON, Pa. -- The city has spent some $500,000 on repairs to the 22-year-old municipal building, and an architect says it needs to spend about $1.3 million more on city-owned structures.
Sharon paid $395,000 in 1999 for major roof repairs and the first phase of improving the city building's heating and air-conditioning systems.
It spent an additional $115,000 last year for heating and air conditioning improvements there.
That's all money the city had to borrow.
Problems: Architect Greer Hayden of HHSDR of Sharon told city council last week that the municipal building still needs about $460,000 in further improvements and that the Shenango Valley Community Library, a city-owned property, needs to have its upper parking deck replaced.
The latter project has a price estimated at $820,000, including engineering and all other costs, Hayden said.
He estimated the city building still needs $175,000 worth of work on its heating and air conditioning systems, $220,000 for new ceilings and lighting and $65,000 to modernize the elevator.
The Sharpsville Avenue concrete parking deck at the library is in poor condition and the city should immediately ban all vehicles weighing more than 5 tons from using it, Hayden said.
Further, no additional vehicles should be allowed to park in the driveways, he said. There's no danger of collapse, but precautions should be taken, Hayden advised.
Sharon will have to borrow the money for the improvements.
City officials have yet to determine the best way to proceed, but Michael Gasparich, city finance director, said one possibility would be to add the cost of the improvements -- about $1.3 million -- to the refinancing of an old bond issue.
Library fund: The city has had some help with smaller library improvement projects from the library's endowment fund but isn't looking there for money for the parking deck.
Councilman Lou Rotunno, fund chairman, said the fund will pick up the $60,941 tab for installing new carpeting in the library under a contract awarded to Lucas Carpets of Sharon by city council last week.
The carpeting is 32 years old and the city can't afford to replace it, Rotunno said.
The fund, now at $400,000, paid for library roof improvements last year and for library computerization before that, Rotunno said, noting it will continue to provide that type of financial assistance.

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