Yatesville Mayor Cecil Moncrief estimates it will be a few more weeks before the Yatesville Public Library reopens. The library suffered a major water leak early in January when temperatures dropped into the single digits and a water line burst in the attic, spreading water through the ceiling and walls onto books, equipment and the floors. Thankfully the library building was insured, and work has already begun on fixing the damage done.
Mayor Moncrief gave an update to the Yatesville City Council at their February 11 meeting.
“I had mentioned last month we needed to paint the inside of the library, but the insurance company is going to paint the whole thing,” Moncrief said.
“Connie (Moncrief, the mayor’s wife and head librarian) and I went by Saturday evening and they were mudding the sheetrock. The adjuster has said if the drywall got wet, he wanted it out. I showed them a couple of places where they needed to take the drywall out and re-do it.
“We did lose approximately 214 books that we cannot restock. But that will be covered under the Pine Mountain Regional Library System insurance policy. The lady has already come down and looked at the books, so they are getting all that stuff together.
“We had some things that were damaged or we had to claim, and I have a list of them that I sent off to be claimed, and that’s $2,500 to $3,000 right there. It looks like it is going to total up about $35,000 to $40,000 worth of damage. “
The mayor noted that while the construction crew is working on the 12-year-old library, he gave them a list of things to do that are not covered by the insurance, but that the city had already decided needed to be done, and will pay for out of city coffers.
“Let me mention some things that I told the guy to do that I feel are necessary over there, like fixing the two thresholds on the two outside doors. In the bathrooms, there are no air vents. I told him to run two air vents in there and to run some more light fixtures in the bathrooms. Around the circulation desk, he’s running some more electrical plug-ins. Some of the plug-ins in the library were never hooked up. They were in place, but never had electricity hooked to them, so I told him to be sure all the plugs had electricity. The water heater is going to be replaced. There is a space heater in there in case of emergencies. There was no cutoff for it, so I told him to put a cutoff on the heater. We took the old wall mounted water fountain out, because we use the one with the five-gallon jugs on top. And I told him to paint the backdoor handrails.
The council meeting occurred Monday night, prior to the ice storm that swept through Georgia Wednesday and Thursday nights. Council member Phyl Gatlin questioned the safety of the water lines in the upcoming storm, but Mayor Moncrief said he wasn’t concerned at the moment.
“They have the heat on in the library, and there is a little cubbyhole above the librarian’s desk, and it is staying open while they work, so there is heat getting up into the attic now,” Moncrief said. “ But we may need to look at doing something in that attic, maybe put a lightbulb up in there. I thought about hanging an electric heater up there, but I’m a little scared of that. I don’t know if we could put a vent up there for heat. But if we put a lightbulb up there and let it burn all the time during the winter and turn it off during the summer, you wouldn’t need the vent. Maybe put a switch downstairs and put a spotlight up there. We went through the snow storm afterwards and didn’t have a problem.”
Moncrief added that when the work is completed, he is going to go into the attic and check to be sure the water lines are insulated. He said that was the problem last time – the water lines were not wrapped in insulation and they burst in the freezing temperatures.
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.