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Local

A/C added to keep IT cool at courthouse

County maintenance director Adam Sparks explains the need to replace the second cooling unit for the IT room to the board of supervisors on Tuesday.
County maintenance director Adam Sparks explains the need to replace the second cooling unit for the IT room to the board of supervisors on Tuesday.

With technology becoming a vital part of work operations, keeping equipment cool and comfortable is a priority.

A second air conditioning unit for the IT room was approved for purchase by the board of supervisors on Tuesday to maintain ideal temperature levels for the department.

The new unit, a Mitsubishi Mini Split, will come from Brooker Corporation of Newton at a price of $4,690. It will replace a 21-year-old unit that is showing its age with compressor issues.

“That we got 21 years out of an air condition unit is a definite plus,” county maintenance director Adam Sparks said. “We also use that air conditioning unit all winter long. Where you would shut yours off at home in the winter, we kind of doubled up on the usage of the unit.”

Sparks said the second unit was used in addition to the geothermal unit that was installed about 20 years ago at the courthouse. When looking to replace the aging air conditioner, he said their original idea was to tie an extra unit off of the geothermal outtake in the IT room but that idea was dismissed after costs were estimated at around $20,000.

The new air conditioner is 3 tons, an increase from the 2.5 ton retiring unit currently in use. It will also be located in the basement of the building instead of on the roof.

“The reason for that is trying to pump 40 some feet in the air is very hard on things, so we are going to put it down there to keep everything close,” Sparks said. “The only thing it is going to do it put off a little heat, which is a plus during the winter and the basement stays cool enough in the summer it will overcome the heat.”

One benefit of having two units is the security of a “backup” system in place should there be a failure. If the geothermal system was the only cooler in place and it would malfunction, IT would go down, Sparks said. To keep the department running at optimal performance, though, both units are needed.

“Without the secondary unit that IT room cannot keep up,” Sparks said. “We’ve had 70-75 degree days outside and with the geothermal unit alone in there, we can barely get below 76 degrees. We need to be way below that and we haven’t even hit 100 degree days outside yet.”

With both units up and running, the IT room will be able to maintain the desired temperature to keep the counties systems running smoothly.

“This has been in the works for quite a while,” supervisor Denny Carpenter said.

The project did receive three additional bids ranging from $5,541 to $6,350 from area contractors.

In other business:

• Charles Maston was approved for hire as a seasonal skilled laborer in the secondary roads department. His staring hourly rate is $14 with an effective date of June 4.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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