As Riverside Public Library officials prepare to replace the building’s heating and air-conditioning system, the Riverside Village Board on Jan. 19 approved providing the library with a $220,000 loan to help pay for the improvements.

The loan was approved unanimously by the village board as part of its consent agenda  at its Jan. 19 meeting.

By providing the loan, the village will save the library money in interest fees. The interest rate of a little more than 1.153 percent the village is charging the library is lower than interest rates the library would have obtained from a bank.

According to the resolution passed by the village board, the library will have five years to pay off the loan, paying the village five equal installments. The library must reimburse the village for any costs associated with the loan, including lost investment interest. Those costs essentially correspond to the interest rate of the loan.

The first payment on the loan is due in December 2017.

In December, the Riverside Public Library Board of Trustees hired Homer Glen-based G.T. Mechanical to install a new rooftop unit and make improvements to the HVAC system inside the library itself. The project is expected to cost the library $370,000.

Interior work could begin as early as this month, with the rooftop unit expected to be installed in late March or early April.

Meanwhile, library officials hope that temporary fixes made to the existing heating system, which was installed in 1986 and rebuilt in 2007, will hold up until spring. The systems control panel ceased working properly in early December and the hardware and software that control the system are no longer supported by the manufacturer.

With t he system stuck perpetually in air-conditioning mode, the library board decided to install a temporary thermostat as a quick fix. After some trial and error for about a week during which temperatures inside remained cold, conditions in the library stabilized.

“Patrons are not wearing coats any longer, so I take that as a good sign,” library Director Janice Foley said in late December after the temporary thermostat was installed.