Woodstock Library trustees are weighing their options including relocation and sale of the current property as they figure out how to proceed after a razor-thin bond defeat.
“That’s something that we are looking at,” library board president Jeff Collins said.
“We cannot at the moment say what properties we are looking at because of confidentiality.”
Trustee Dorothea Marcus, who is a residential real estate agent by trade, asked Peter Cantine, who has decades of experience in commercial properties to do what is called a price opinion on the current Library Lane property. Instead of a more formal appraisal, “it’s more of a ballpark,” Marcus said.
Cantine ran the numbers on how many square feet can be used and what is the highest and best use. Cantine consulted with town building inspector Ellen Casciaro to make sure his figures were correct.
Cantine said the library can offer its three lots as a package for $1.3 million. The lot comprising the front lawn is zoned hamlet commercial and the lot with the library building is hamlet residential. The small lot in which the former Library Laundromat sat has complications because of the Tannery Brook but could complement the other two lots.
Though residential properties on Library Lane have recently commanded high prices, Marcus said it would probably have more value as a commercial property.
“There’s an alternate universe of potential buyers,” Marcus said, reporting on Cantine’s findings.
“You often get someone who may pay more than it’s worth on paper to get their pet project done.”
The sale of the library property would significantly offset the cost of building at a new location.
Addressing issues with current building
Regardless of where the library is located in the future, the Facilities and Planning Committee has acknowledged an environmental report is needed to address issues with the current building.
The building is plagued with mold issues because of an underground brook that flows through the crawlspace. An environmental report will be done to determine the extent of mold and also lead and asbestos.
It also does not meet ADA requirements and the floor would need to be raised to be out of the flood plain, Kagan said.
“There are probably six or eight places where we need to drill holes in the roof or a wall to determine if there is mold on structural members,” facilities and planning chair Howard Kagan said.
The library will hire Spectrum Environmental Services of Schenectady at a cost of $6300 to $7900 and Kaaterskill Associates of Cairo at $8500 for structural and flood plain analysis.