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By Jim Shilander
The San Clemente City Council approved putting an additional $220,463 toward the expansion of the Orange County Public Library’s local branch following the discovery of termite damage and other increased costs that pushed the project’s budget over the $2 million mark.
The additional expansion funds, which have now added up to more than $600,000, will help repair termite damage along with necessary heating and cooling system repairs, said Erik Sund, assistant city manager.
A majority of that funding comes from Orange County. However, the city, through a combination of municipal and private funds, is still paying for 68 percent of the total project. The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved spending additional monies Tuesday.
Sund said the city was confident the costs were accurate and would be enough to see the project completed by July 2015.
County Librarian Helen Fried told the council the library system was also working to get the city a bookmobile sometime in January. The library system has been working with the city of Fullerton to lease its bookmobile to use in San Clemente, but legal wrangling was delaying the process, Fried said. If a bookmobile comes to the city, it would be located at Vista Hermosa Sports Park.
The city council has expressed concerns in the past about the cost of the project to the city, given its status as a “donor” to the county system. The council has previously expressed a desire to consider having the city leave the library system and strike out on its own. The current library is owned by the city and leased by the county for a nominal fee.