County Commissioners anticipate receiving a quarter-million dollars in funding through the federal stimulus program to upgrade heating and air conditioning systems in the county annex and health department headquarters, both located on Mulberry Heights.
Employees in the health department and other agencies in the second floor of the multi-purpose center have been dealing with stifling heat during these hot days of June and July, and Health Commissioner Larry Marshall told commissioners last week the offices had closed at mid-day on two occasions last week. It was, he said, unsafe for them to be working in the building without effective air conditioning.
The health department headquarters will receive a new boiler and other heating upgrades, and a new rooftop chiller for the air conditioning system. The upgrades are expected to save the commissioners as much as $14,000 per year once they are completed.
However, commissioners recently contracted with an Athens firm last to make stop-gap repairs to the system in order to allow workers to return to their jobs, said Board President Tom Anderson.
At the annex, the former county home, commissioners will replace the heating system boiler with a 95-percent efficient model, clean duct work and other equipment and add insulation. Window air conditioners will be replaced.
Anderson said commissioners recently spent over $4,000 to replace the air conditioner in the Medical Arts building, which houses the O’Bleness Meigs Medical Center, earlier this month. Commissioners also just spent $16,000 on a new air conditioner at the Mill Street building which is now owned by the Meigs County Department of Job and Family Services.
“All of our buildings need work,” Anderson said. “They are old buildings and they are expensive to repair.”
Commissioners have been playing against time during this hot summer. Anderson said the stimulus grant funds have been promised, and paperwork has been completed on this end, but it could be the end of summer before the funds are available to make the needed repairs.