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County Courthouse Upgrades Discussed

Courthouse-and-Windmill

The HVAC system at the Prowers County Courthouse is in need of dire repairs or replacement. The Prowers County Commissioners discussed best-case scenarios with Kirk Powers, Operations Manager for the County, and a service representative.  Although the furnace was replaced two years ago, an aging pipe/conduit system for heated or chilled water as atop the list of repairs that are needed.  The courtroom and lawyers and judges offices on the third floor have had either not enough warmth in the winter or cool air in the summer.  Trying to drive the temperatures lower this summer has resulted in some condensation from the pipes which is leaking onto the ceiling panels, causing stains.

Two basic options were discussed, heat pumps and condensers could be installed above the ceiling panels which can drive cold air, but the installation would be cumbersome given the size of the equipment and limited space in which to work. A four pipe system which moves hot and cold air simultaneously through sections of the courthouse as needed was the other option discussed.  A cost estimate for installation and any future repairs or upgrades will also be factored into the decision.  Commissioner Ron Cook asked if a chemical flush for the pipes would improve the flow.  Powers said  that would be one of the quicker ways to determine if there were any leaking pipes, which would then require immediate repairs.  There was some thought that debris may be blocking some of the piping, anywhere from a shop towel to plastic bags.  Any debris of that nature would be filtered out with the new installation project.

The commissioners were also informed of a water leak at the Big Timbers Museum by curator, Kathleen Scranton. The sprinkler system begins to leak when a nearby hydrant is turned on.  It’s an outdoor problem and if it’s a line leak, a trench will be dug to determine the break points.  Because of the age of the system, there are no accurate records of the line’s path.  The problem will probably be addressed in the spring.

Powers reported good marks all around for this year’s Sand and Sage Fair with only a car fire reported in the parking lot on Saturday, essentially from mechanical problems. It was quickly handled.  Local residents enjoyed the expanded carnival rides as well as the idea to move in four porta-potties adjacent to the carnival area.  Saturday night rains briefly delayed the rodeo events, but they cleared up early enough on the first weekend so it didn’t hamper concert night on August 6th.  The beer garden was also well attended.

Work will be underway next week, August 22nd on a new surface for the courthouse parking lot.  The City of Lamar has cleared time for the project and new striping will also be done in the parking area.  Employees will have to park further away until the project is completed.  New grout work will also be conducted along the new courthouse sidewalk on the north side of the building over the next several weeks.

By Russ Baldwin

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Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyFeaturedHistoryPublic SafetyUtilities

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