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Courthouse heating to cost a cool #036;212k

The Butler County Commission awarded the contract for a new heating/cooling unit at the Butler County Courthouse after opening bids Wednesday night.

Since November, employees at the courthouse have had no heat because the heating system shut down.

The antiquated system was a forced heating system that used pressurized heated water going through piping through the building.

When pipes began leaking, the system shut down.

It also affects the cooling system that uses the same method except the water is cooled.

According to Commission Chair Jesse McWilliams, the winning bid for the job came from Trawick Contractors.

They bid $212,000 to put in the new system.

A second bidder, Conrad Watson Air Conditioning bid just over $232,000 for the job.

So when can the work begin?

&uot;Right now, we’re waiting for Trawick to send us information on their bond and also insurance,&uot; McWilliams said.

&uot;After we get all their paperwork in, they’ll get started as soon as possible.&uot;

He said they considered replacing the piping only, but that would have cost about $40,000 less than a new system. He said the commission looked at the &uot;Big picture&uot; future and decided a total replacement was needed.

&uot;By replacing the entire system now, we believe this will take care of any future problems down the road,&uot; he said.

&uot;This will completely do away with the old system.&uot;

Williams said the Commission did not specify a completion date.

The recent bitter cold at night kept the Commission busy and also a maintenance person, Williams said.

&uot;We have basically had a maintenance person go into the offices in the mornings and turn the heaters on before any of the personnel gets to work,&uot; he said.

&uot;That seems to be working out alright.&uot;

Across the parking lot from the courthouse, the other problem for the Commission, the county jail, seems to be improving.

&uot;Al McKee is doing a good job in making improvements,&uot; he said.

&uot;We had a couple of things that messed up all at once over there, but everything is coming together now.

We are trying to work together to accomplish a goal.&uot;

At the last Commission meeting, McWilliams said several inmates were transported to the Crenshaw County Jail while others remained to work on sprucing up the place.

&uot;All of the inmates are back in our county jail,&uot; he said.

&uot;We’ve got a lot of people working in there getting it up to par and it’s looking good.&uot;

The next Commission meeting is set for 10 a.m. on Monday Feb. 9.