Over the past 20 years, the Weyauwega Public Library has spent thousands of dollars trying to stop water from getting into its elevator shaft.
Now, the Library Board is asking the Common Council to deal with the issue.
“The library does not have the income to patch or replace (it). The Library Board does not feel the problem has been solved. Without the elevator, the library is not handicap accessible,” said Frank Zaboj, chairman of the library’s Buildings and Grounds Committee.
Each month, he attends the Common Council meeting and presents a report about the library.
At the council’s July meeting, Zaboj expressed his frustration over the elevator shaft issue.
The matter was referred to the city’s Public Works Committee. Its next meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13, in the library’s lower level meeting room.
“It’s been a problem from the beginning,” Zaboj told the council. “When we spent the last amount of money, I was told it was taken care of.”
However, in early June there was again water in the elevator shaft.
A new alarm the library had installed alerted the staff that there was water in the shaft, and Zaboj said there had not been any rain or unusual use of water at the library.
He said the city contacted its engineer, who worked on the original plan, and also asked how much water the Library Board would tolerate.
The Library Board does not want to tolerate any water and for several reasons, Zaboj said.
The elevator company told the board that water in the elevator shaft could cause the system to fail.
The city’s insurance agent indicated that the company may not cover any additional repair or replacement costs caused by water.
The library does not have the income to continue patch-type fixes or to replace the entire elevator.
In addition, the Library Board believes the problem has not been resolved.
Zaboj said that without the elevator, the library’s lower level is not handicap accessible. That area of the library is used up to 40 times a month, he said.
“We’ve spent over ten grand already, and we’re not seeing any results,” Zaboj said.
That includes approximately $5,300 in 1992, when water was standing in the bottom of the shaft and showed no signs of subsiding.
A manhole was installed with a sump to remove the water. That was at the recommendation of Architect Terry Martin.
During the last several years, the library spent more than $3,000 on corrective work.
Three sump pumps were replaced, and someone was hired to pump out the water.
How water is getting in there is unknown.
“There’s so many unanswered questions,” Zaboj said. “My wish is I don’t want to give up the elevator. You probably don’t want to take over the problem. We can’t keep going on like this. My concern is if there is moisture in there, there is probably mold in there. I just think we need to resolve the problem.”