KODIAK — Readers were wowed as they walked through the doors of the new Kodiak Public Library on Monday night. Now, fiscal hawks have something to cheer, too.
According to project documents, the library project beat its $12.45 million budget by $506,000. While minor site issues and administrative expenses drove the cost of the project upward, the city budgeted $907,000 for contingencies.
Even after the extra expenses, a half-million dollars remains in the contingency account.
“You can project you’ll have budgets available, but you really don’t know, and the people, the citizens of Kodiak really stepped up,” said project manager Roe Sturgulewski.
At the start of the library project, the Kodiak Public Library Association pledged to contribute $750,000 to library construction. It beat that goal, collecting $780,000 in donations, pledges and in-kind contributions from Kodiak residents, businesses and organizations.
“We got a really big push there at the end. It’s fabulous,” said Kaia Converse, chairwoman KPLA board of directors.
KPLA turned over $500,000 to the city in June but is holding on to the remaining donations until the city identifies the library’s needs. “That money will cover any remaining needs or needs that are identified now that they’ve moved into the library,” Converse said.
Subtracting KPLA’s contribution to the remaining contingency, the city could have as much as a quarter-million dollars at its disposal.
The money left over from library construction could be diverted to other projects through the city’s general fund, city manager Aimee Kniaziowski said, but the city must first ensure it doesn’t violate the terms of any grants used to build the library.
“We would have to be true to whatever the grant requirements,” Kniaziowski said.
She said the city will keep the project file open until the city is certain that construction funding will not be needed to fix flaws in the new building.