Annex temp tops 100 without HVAC

Friday, July 2, 2010
Nancy McCollum, left, and Brenda Hazlett, right, work with a fan cooling them from the left rear with a door open, but they lit a scented candle, left front, so they wouldn't curse the darker room since lights were left off in some offices to reduce heat sources.

Several weeks will pass before a particular part is manufactured and sent to Lewisburg to finalize repairs to the air conditioning units that failed at the Marshall County Courthouse Annex last weekend.

That's according to County Budget Director Freda Terry who reported what she was told by Sheldon Davis, county building maintenance director when he was unavailable to explain since he was apparently repairing that breakdown and others.

Her office's temperature exceeded 100 degrees Monday, she said.

"The unit has three compressors," Terry said. "The big one is out."

When that happens, a circuit board is to start another compressor, but the board was malfunctioning, too, so the two backup units didn't engage, she said.

However, by 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, the two smaller units appeared to be working and the office thermostat was read at 81 degrees.

Several calls to Sheldon Davis, director of building maintenance for the county schools, resulted in no contact. In recent months, his department's responsibilities were expanded to include various other county buildings.

"We're also out at the Courthouse," Terry said.

At the Annex, "It won't be so bad," she said, if Davis got the two smaller units operating.

"The first one is on order and it will take three weeks to be made and get here," Terry said of the unit that must be manufactured. "It's an odd size...

"Of course, our warranty is out," she said.

The system outage was at a bad time for the budget office clerks, bookkeepers, Terry and others. It was payroll week. Checks totaling some $244,000 had to be issued so employees could be paid today.

It's been worse.

In 1992-93, the system failed and the temperature hit 115 degrees in the third floor law office of Michael Boyd, according to law secretary Pat Hanson.

"We couldn't work for several days," Hanson said, noting the building was constructed as a bank in 1975. She started working there the next year.

This time, the law office conducted business wherever their clients were located early this week.

"Lawyers on wheels is what we laughingly called ourselves," Hanson said.

Marshall County's Zoning and Codes Offices are on the third floor where secretary Rosemary Jones said the temperature was 93 degrees on Monday morning. Wednesday afternoon, just before closing time, the temperature was 79 degrees.

"I got to leave Monday," Jones said. "They stayed," she said of director Don Nelson and inspector John Price.

Across the hall, Property Assessor Linda Haislip said, "It feels good in here today [Wednesday]. Yesterday, it was bad. Monday it was horrible. I'm understanding that they're working on it this weekend, so, hopefully Monday, it will be fixed.

"Beads of sweat came up on us Tuesday, but Bob Hopkins (director of the county's Emergency Management Agency) saved the day. He brought us fans. Joe Liggett (the county mayor, brought us the big one in the hall."

On the ground floor in County Clerk Daphne Fagan's office, several of the main lights were off, as they were in other offices.

"It's literally cooler without lights on," Fagan said.

Meanwhile, County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett announced that the county has been awarded a $46,470 from a federal energy grant.

The money is to be spent on four new HVAC units that were scheduled to be replaced.

"Some of our older units... are having trouble," Liggett said.

The four new units are to be installed at:

* The Senior Citizens Nutrition Center located in the Hardison Office Annex.

* The museum at the Hardison Annex.

* And, two older units at the library.

"Those are the units that would have to be replaced anyway," the county mayor said.

The energy grant also comes with changing light bulbs and fixtures to save the county money on its electric bills.