County building elevators at 'worst-case scenario'

PLYMOUTH — County maintenance director Rich Ulrich spoke to county council members Monday about the two county building elevators, which are again out of commission.
"This is our worst-case scenario," said Ulrich, calling the elevators "obsolete" and noting that the 30-year-old machines have never been updated with new technology.
Previously, Ulrich had recommended that the county terminate their current elevator repair and maintenance contract and instead hire Otis Elevators, the company that maintains the courthouse elevators. Ulrich estimated that the cost to repair both elevators in the county building would be about $150,000. County commissioners approved $36,000 for the beginning of the project in 2011, and Monday Ulrich asked for an additional appropriation of $114,000.
"This is an extreme problem," said Ulrich. "There are so many things wrong."
He added that workers from Otis had been at the county building every day last week attempting at least one elevator working.
"We realize what an inconvenience this is," said Ulrich. "We are trying to offer manual assistance to our patrons. Everything that can be done (to fix the elevators) is being done."
Council members unanimously approved $114,00 for the elevator project out of the general fund. County auditor Penny Lukenbill noted that the county general fund contained $6.1 million on Jan.1.
In other business:
• County clerk Julie Fox visited the council meeting to request permission for a personnel replacement. She said that one of her clerks is retiring, and she will need to hire another. She noted that the position pays $15.26 per hour and those funds are already in her budget. Council members agreed to allow Fox to seek a replacement.