COMMERCIAL-NEWS | ROBERT TOMLINSON - A look at the sinkhole in the parking lot behind the Three Rivers Post Office used by the Three Rivers Public Library. The TRPL Board voted to use up to $20,000 to repair the sinkhole.

TR Library to deal with parking lot sinkhole situation

THREE RIVERS — The Three Rivers Public Library is dealing with a bit of a sinking situation in one of their parking lots.

During their meeting Tuesday, the TRPL Board of Trustees approved using up to $20,000 to contract with TM Asphalt to complete emergency repair of a sinkhole in one of the library’s parking lots behind the Three Rivers Post Office. The cause of the sinkhole is unknown, but TRPL Director Bobbi Schoon said current estimates have the actual cost for repair at $5,000 to $8,000.

Schoon said the sinkhole was originally discovered in the parking lot on Monday, May 16, with the library calling TM Asphalt to come and take a look and put cones around the area. By Thursday, she said, the company had called a second opinion from Starks Excavating and informed her than a 12-foot by 35-foot-deep area was affected. The area around the sinkhole has been blocked off after consultation with City Hall.

“We don’t know until we open it up what did it, but they did a little bit of digging in there, and it appears there’s gravel under the lot, and it’s not supposed to be gravel, it’s supposed to be sand that’s packed down; gravel allows water to get through it and sinks,” Schoon said. “It could just be natural settling and wet ground. Until they open it up, they don’t know what caused it to do a full cost for us.”

Schoon said the library debated blocking off the parking lot entirely, which would have interfered with an ATM in the area, but managed to block off enough of the area around the sinkhole to allow passage to the ATM.

Library Board President Julie Keefer noted the library has wanted to re-do the particular parking lot anyway, and wondered if it would be better to do the parking lot now instead of just fixing the sinkhole.

“We’re already spending $8,000, what is it going to look like for the bigger picture? Not that we have the money for it necessarily, but it would give us direction; do we do $8,000 now or if we keep going with what repairs we’re doing for a bigger space, it’d be about $10,000,” Keefer said. As for now, though, the library appears to be looking to just fix up the sinkhole at the moment.

The board will determine at a later time whether the money for repair will come out of fund balance or the library’s building fund.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or

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