The need and best way to replace a chiller for the Miami County Safety Building and the status of the building’s elevators were discussed last week by county commissioners
Chris Johnson, county facilities and maintenance director, met with commissioners on both issues Jan. 24.
The most discussion centered on the need to replace one of the chillers in the Safety Building system.
Options explored included working through a cooperative for purchase and installation and hiring a company to design the project and seek bids.
The commissioners discussed with Johnson and Leigh Williams, the commission clerk and administrative assistant, the option of working through the U.S. Communities cooperative purchasing program.
The organization seeks bids on purchasing for government organizations. In this case, the county is looking to replace a Trane chiller available through the program.
Johnson said once a decision is made the unit would take 12 weeks for manufacture and then another four weeks for installation.
If the cooperative program would be selected, the installation could be done before summer. If a bidding process is required, coupled with the manufacturing and installation time, the installation would be later this year.
Commission President John “Bud’ O’Brien pointed out state law requires the bidding for projects of $50,000 or more, or the use of a purchasing cooperative. He also noted that the Trane equipment is handled exclusively in the area by Dayton Trane/Waibel Energy.
Johnson said the estimated cost through the cooperative was around $236,000. If the other option was selection, the county also would have costs for the engineering/preparing for bids.
Commissioners agreed the cooperative appeared to be the best option for this project.
“If it saves us money and is legal, it is something we need to do,” said Commissioner Greg Simmons.
“I concur with that after being through this before,” said Commissioner Jack Evans. “We have done our due diligence and have been informed by legal authority that this is legal to be done. Because of the timing and the hiring of engineering would cost more money, I see no reason not to use purchasing cooperative.”
The commissioners would have to vote on working through the cooperative.
Also meeting with commissioners on the elevators were two representatives of ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Norb Weyer and Tom Zwick.
The company handled the 2013 elevators modernization project in both the Safety Building public lobby and in the county jail area of the building. The company and county are in the midst of a five-year maintenance agreement.
The meeting was requested by commissioners, who earlier said there was at least a perception of recurring issues with one of the public area elevators.
Weyer said that there had been normal calls over a period of time with the elevators and a specific issue with a valve on the elevator that was perceived to have more issues. When that type of issue occurs it often takes return visits to make sure proper adjustments are made, he said.
There is what is considered an acceptable number of calls for a unit and the unit in questions had more than others but not exceptionally high, Weyer said.