Preston - After giving a report on repairs and maintenance needed at the Preston Public Library, a member of the town Buildings and Facilities Committee recommended the town consider creating a combined town and school facilities manager to oversee routine maintenance.
Preston Public Library officials two weeks ago approached selectmen with a list of repairs needed to the 25-year old library building. Gordon Conrad, Buildings and Facilities Committee member, presented a report Thursday with price estimates totaling a combined $8,000 for several items, including roof gutters, sidewalk improvements and roof cleaning.
Selectmen voted Thursday to request $8,000 in funding through the state Local Capital Improvement Program for the building-related work needed at the library. The town will pay for pumping out the library septic tank.
The committee will obtain estimates by next week for replacing the roof, Conrad told selectmen.
At the end of his report, Conrad suggested that the town join with the Board of Education to create a combined facilities manager position.
The school system has a full-time facilities manager for its two buildings, while the town relies on the Public Works Department for maintenance work, First Selectman Robert Congdon said.
The Buildings and Facilities Committee was created about five years ago to address issues involving town property, but Congdon said the committee mostly concentrates on capital improvement needs rather than routine maintenance, such as the needs of the library building.
In 2011, the boards of selectmen, education and finance agreed to create a joint town and school finance director position.
The arrangement is considered a success, although the inaugural director, Robert A. Sirpenski, recently left to become school finance director in Waterford. Preston has received more than 40 applications for his successor.
"We made one logical step to do that with the financial manager," Congdon said. "The next step would be a facilities manager."
Congdon said if the school system is not in favor of a joint facilities manager, the town could appoint a part-time manager through the Public Works Department to oversee town facilities.
Either way, the proposed new position would have to go through the town budget process before it could be approved, Congdon said.