NEWTON GROVE — Town officials are working to get the Bryan Memorial Library up and running again after flooding from Hurricane Matthew.
During a Monday night meeting, town commissioners approved $10,000 for library repairs. The town’s existing budget was amended to do so. Commissioner Teresa Wilson presented an update on the situation, which included interior damage to the library.
“Thank goodness it only took $75 to repair our heating and air over there,” Wilson said.
M&R Carpets provided an estimate to clean and disinfect tiles and the bathrooms. It was also reported that the business may have the carpet ready to install soon. The estimate for the M&R work is more than $5,000.
“They’re going to spray for mold,” Wilson said. “They will go around and spray before they put anything down.”
But one of the problems with that is the need to paint, before new carpet is placed. Estimates for that job will be provided too.
According to Sampson-Clinton Public Library officials, more than 2,660 books were lost during the flood. The total estimate is $43,000. Also, the library stored magazines, children’s items, DVDs and audiobooks.
Newton Grove Branch Manger Jean Simmons was thankful for the support and said it was tremendous.
“The volunteers have been outstanding,” Simmons said to the commission about the help.
During the storm, the library was damaged by about 8 to 10 inches of flooding and the water receded quickly.
“But of course, it was in here long enough to do its damage,” Simmons said. “It was probably about 8 to 10 inches of water in here. Everything on the bottom shelf was lost.”
All of the computers were damaged, with the exception of one laptop. To recoup, local libraries will loan the branch computers until new ones for the Newton Grove library are purchased.
“The branches are going to help us fill in the gaps with that,” Simmons said about another step to follow painting and carpeting.
Books will be donated as well.
“It may be a slow process, but we will rebuild the collection, maybe not overnight, but we will,” Simmons said.
The library located at 302 Weeksdale St. in Newton Grove is one of four branches in Sampson County. The others are the J.C. Holliday Library, Clinton; Bryan Memorial Library, Newton Grove; Miriam Lamb Memorial Library, Garland; and the Roseboro Public Library.
“We’re just so supportive of each other,” Simmons said. “It’s just a tight-knit community and we’re going to be fine.”
The Bryan Memorial Library opened in the early 1980s and is dedicated to the memory of James and Irene Carroll Bryan. Their son, Raymond Bryan provided a large portion of money for the library.
Currently, it’s unknown when the library will reopen. Simmons would like to see it happen as soon as possible.
“The town is so supportive and working so hard to make it happen, so we can start serving the community again,” Simmons said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.