NORTH ROCKLAND, N.Y. -- Officials have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover $40,000 in expenses to repair damages to the Rose Memorial Stony Point Library following an underground water main break last week that flooded the building.
Damage at the shuttered library is worse than first thought, said the library's director Jennifer Brown.
"The price tag for repairs caused by flooding at the East Main Street building could reach $90,000. The damage was quite extensive," Brown said. "We're talking about structural damage that has to be fixed."
The one bright spot: the upper level of the library could reopen this week.
The main break caused eight inches of stormwater and sewage to back up and flood the lower section of the library. The children's section was "devastated," Brown said.
Contaminated water also got into the walls, carpeting and bathroom floor tiles.
“There’s toilet paper and brown muck stuck to everything,” said Barnaby Joyce, president of the Rose Memorial Library's board of directors.
Hundreds of children's books were destroyed along with laptops and craft supplies during the flood, officials said. Brown and Joyce said the library is facing a $40,000 shortfall because its insurance policy only covers up to $50,000 in claims for water backups.
Officials are asking for the public's help to make up the difference. Brown has set up a GoFundMe campaign https://www.gofundme.com/stonypointlibrary to cover clean-up and repairs.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 12 people had donated a total of $1,010.
“The library doesn’t have a large reserve to rely on to take care of something like this,” Brown said of its annual $580,000 budget. She remained hopeful the initial estimate by the remediation company would turn out to be lower but said they were dealing with contaminated water that had seeped into the lower level walls. As a result, he said three feet of each wall had to be removed and will be rebuilt.
Additionally, all of the downstairs furniture has to be cleaned as do the book shelves, which have been removed. They too will have to be restocked. The electrical wiring has to be checked, the elevator has to be re-inspected and two bathrooms repaired.
Joyce said it will take a couple of weeks for the lower level to reopen to the public. “The money’s just not there right now to get that fixed,” he said. Clean-up at the Rose Memorial Library in Stony Point. Clean-up at the Rose Memorial Library in Stony Point.
A spokesman for United Water New York said the company was investigating the cause of the line break.
Joyce said no one from United Water has contacted the library or visited to assess the damage. “We have not heard from them," he said. "No one has reached out to us.”
By the weekend, officials hope to post a list of all of the books that were destroyed in the flood. Many in the community have expressed an interest in donating their own books or buying replacements.
For more information, visit the library's website at http://www.rosememoriallibrary.org .
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