No heat will cost a cool $200K

MARSHALL CO. — The county council met in a chilly room Monday morning.
Doug Masterson, maintenance supervisor, informed the council that the heating and cooling system for the first and second floors of the Marshall County Building had crashed last week.
“We can’t turn the heat up right now,” said Masterson, adding that the temperature on the first two floors of the building is frozen at whatever temperature the system was set at when it crashed.
The third floor of the building is still run on a 1981 pneumatic (controlled air) system. The first two floors were upgraded to a computer system in 2000, but the third floor was never updated because funds for the project ran out according to Masterson.
Currently, the temperature on third floor of the Marshall County Building can still be adjusted by the maintenance department.
Masterson and Commissioner Kevin Overmyer brought a proposal before the council to fix the system on all three floors on an emergency basis. The South Bend-based company OJS would install a new system to all three floors for a total cost of $203,953.
The new system comes with a 5-year warranty on the controllers. It can also be operated by an off-site computer or smart phone.
“So Sunday night before you come in here Monday morning (Masterson) can get it nice and toasty for you,” said Overmyer to council members jokingly.
Masterson pointed out that the system might also save in utility costs for the county, because it can be turned off in lesser used areas or at night. He said that he’s not sure how long it will take OJS to put in the new system, but expects it to be a matter of months.
Overmyer noted that the funds for the project would likely come out of the county’s Rainy Day fund.
“If we don’t start getting this fixed now, we are going to have problems this summer,” said Council President Matt Hassel.
After further discussion, the council agreed to support the project although they will not vote on it until February’s meeting.