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home : news : news Monday, October 16, 2017

12/5/2012 Email this articlePrint this article 
Supervisors approve furnace replacement at DeWitt annex

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

Clinton County will spend an extra $20,000 to replace a furnace at the new government annex building in DeWitt (former Candlelight building) during the first phase of renovations instead of waiting for phase II as originally planned.

The Clinton County Board of Supervisors Monday, Dec. 3, approved a resolution authorizing the county maintenance department to spend $20,308 to replace an existing, 3-ton rooftop HVAC unit with a new, 8.5-ton unit and to pay for the change order using funds budgeted for a generator replacement project at the law center in Clinton.

Board chairman Brian Schmidt said he would have preferred to wait an additional week to allow public input before approving the expenditure, but he and supervisor John Staszewski agreed to move ahead because a delay would push back the project completion date and add $2,200 in unnecessary costs.

Supervisor Jill Davisson was absent due to illness.

Building maintenance manager Corey Johnson explained the county had hoped to make do with the existing HVAC system, which includes three rooftop units, until beginning the second phase of office renovations that will create space for the treasurer and other county offices.

However, an examination of the existing units found holes in the heat exchanger in the unit needed to heat and cool the sheriff's office space that is being constructed as part of phase I renovations.

The faulty heat exchanger is a safety concern due to the possibility of carbon monoxide leaks.

Repairing the unit is an option, Johnson said, but repair was ruled out in the belief the money would be wasted since the project already included plans to replace the heat exchanger with a larger model during phase II renovations.

Johnson previously told the board a repair would cost approximately $2,000, but he said the furnace would have to be replaced anyway during phase II because it is not powerful enough to adequately heat and cool the entire building.

The new unit is more than twice the size of the existing model, Johnson said, and will be capable of heating the sheriff's office space, the treasurer's office area and additional office space.

Johnson said the county has $72,000 allocated for the generator replacement project at the law center but will use only a small portion of those funds because state and federal grants ended up covering 95 percent of the project cost.

The $20,308 price tag for the HVAC replacement includes purchasing the new unit, installing new ductwork, running electrical service and adding a new breaker box that will be needed for phase II renovations, Johnson said.

All but $1,500 of the original $50,000 in contingency funds for the annex building renovations has been used up due to previous additions and modifications, including a $4,500 expenditure the supervisors authorized Nov. 19 for a study to determine heating and cooling design specifications.

Johnson said the additional costs being incurred with changes to phase I renovations will be offset by money saved in the next phase.

"What this is doing is causing extra costs now, but it's actually saving us money in phase II," he said.

County attorney Mike Wolf, responding to a question from supervisor Schmidt, said the board is not required to hold a public hearing before approving the expenditure.

Although he had recommended the board wait one week after the discussion before approving the expense, he said the explanations given by Johnson against a delay made sense.

The change order for the HVAC work will result in a 10-day project extension, pushing back the completion date to Dec. 28, Johnson stated.

A one-week delay in voting on the proposal would push that date into the new year, while the sheriff's office is required under the terms of a sale agreement to vacate the current satellite office on the southeast side of DeWitt by year's end.

A delay also would add $2,200 in expenses in order to have a construction manager on site for an additional week, Johnson said.

"In light of saving $2,200, let's get moving," supervisor Staszewski said.

Schmidt said he would have liked to postpone action for one week but agreed with Staszewski to move forward.

"It is overall a small portion of our project, and it is something we had planned for phase II," he said.

Supervisors approve agreement for drainage district survey work

The supervisors approved an agreement with Ryken Engineering and Land Surveying of Ackley for survey work in Drainage District 20 that is required as part of a project to relocate drainage infrastructure to accommodate the Union Pacific Railroad's construction of additional track and a crew change station near Low Moor.

Paul Ketelsen, former Clinton County zoning administrator, acting as the county's consultant for the Drainage District 20 project, said he was recommending Ryken because the firm has an existing working relationship with Union Pacific and already will be conducting survey work for the relocation project.

"Our opinion is it's best to have the same firm do the work both places to avoid discrepancies," Ketelsen said.

The cost of the work is not to exceed $9,900.

The resolution approving the agreement notes Union Pacific has agreed to reimburse the county for all costs associated with the relocation of drainage infrastructure.

Other business

In other business:

•The board approved the termination of five seasonal summer employees from the roadside management department.

•Schmidt reported on his attendance at the Hwy. 30 Coalition meeting in Nevada last week.

Construction of a four-lane bypass at Mt. Vernon and Lisbon is in the department of transportation's five-year-plan, but there are no other developments affecting eastern Iowa counties, Schmidt said.

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