City Council commits to installing Ferndale Public Library air-conditioning system

Library staff were limited to strategically open windows in order to exhaust warm air and create cross-ventilation.

Ferndale Public Library interior 2016-12-3
Ferndale Public Library interior (December 3, 2016). Photo: Discover Ferndale

There was only one discussion item on last night’s Ferndale City Council meeting agenda but for many, it was a very important one.

Past summers have been challenging for library staff and patrons as daytime temperatures often exceeded 80-degrees while the average highs for the Ferndale area during July and August are historically 76°.

The 15,000-square foot library building was built in 2014 without an air-conditioning system due to a lack of available funds at the time. Staff were limited to strategically open windows during hot days in order to exhaust warm air and create cross-ventilation. According to Councilmember Keith Olson, the City had promised to install an air-conditioning system when funds were available and now was the time to keep that promise.

Councilmember Fred Kennedy asked others on the Council to consider a low-cost temporary system. That was defeated 5-2 with Kennedy and Councilmember Teresa Taylor voting in favor.

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The air-conditioning system is estimated to cost approximately $60,000 and a spokesperson for Friends of the Ferndale Library said they had unanimously voted to apply $15,000 toward the project. These funds are the result of sales in the bookstore at the library plus a couple of book sales held each year.

Council members voted to proceed with installing the air-conditioning system by a vote of 5-2, with Kennedy and Taylor opposed.