ZEPHYRHILLS — The cost of the new $2.24 million Zephyrhills library building has been reduced by $25,000 by saving sales tax on materials, Interim City Manager Steve Spina told the city council last week.
Council members have been criticized for approving a $500,000 cost overrun on the building about six months ago. Former councilwoman Jodi Wilkeson attributed her defeat in April’s election in part to her vote on the library’s need for additional funding.
The $25,000 in savings comes from removing more than $322,000 in materials for purchase from the contract. The city bought the materials and saved the sales tax expense. The process saved $20,000 in April and $5,000 in May.
“I hope the press got that,” said Council President Charlie Proctor.
In December, architects Harvard Jolly and Contractor A.D. Morgan told the council members they would need an additional $500,000 to complete the new building with a design of red brick and white stone.
The design incorporates architectural elements from the old city hall on Fifth Avenue, the now-demolished former Zephyrhills High building and the Zephyrhills Depot Museum building.
Funds for the extra costs are being taken from Penny for Pasco contingency funds.
Director of Library and Museum Services Vicki Elkins said that the library is on schedule for a January opening.
The new 8,400-square-foot building is located on the site of the former library parking lot at the corner of Eighth Street and Seventh Avenue.
Plans are to demolish the old building for a parking lot, but Councilman Lance Smith said the council should consider using the old library building as a “business incubator” as part of the city’s economic development initiatives.