The Harlan Fiscal Court accepted a bid totaling approximately $158,900 for repairs to the heating and cooling system at the Harlan County Detention Center during a special-called meeting on Tuesday.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley brought the subject up to the court just a few minutes into the meeting, explaining the work is necessary due to heat pumps which had failed.
“It was discovered about half the units were not functional, and we advertised for bids last month in an effort to move this process along because of the heat at the jail,” Mosley said. “We decided to go ahead and have a court meeting a week earlier than we typically would to get this process moving a little faster.”
Mosley said when it was discovered the heat pumps had failed, the county rented 12 portable units to help cool the facility.
“It was approaching 90 degrees at times,” Mosley said. “Now it’s down to 80 degrees or below. They definitely have helped.”
Mosley asked Harlan County Clerk Donna Hoskins to open any bids the county received.
Hoskins advised the bid was from CKSM Mechanical Incorporated from Paint Lick had submitted the sole bid.
Hoskins stated the bid for labor and materials came to $145,989. An alternate bid from the same company included a maintenance contract at an additional $12,950.
Magistrate David Kennedy asked about the warranty.
“For that kind of money, I hope it’s warranted for 10 years,” Kennedy said. “That’s a lot of money.”
Scott Noel of N3D Group, an engineering firm located in Lexington, was present to advise the court on the issue.
“The units themselves, they have an extended warranty on the compressors, that’s five years,” Noel said. “The workmanship itself, the contractors who replace (the current units) have to warranty it for a year. Outside of that, you would pay extra for an extended warranty past that point.”
Noel said this is industry standard when it comes to warranties on this sort of work.
Mosley mentioned the lifespan of the units are generally 10 to 15 years.
Magistrate Bill Moore inquired how often the units would be serviced if the court accepted the alternate bid including the maintenance agreement option. Mosley said the units would be serviced bi-annually.
After some further discussion, the court approved a motion to accept the bid option including the maintenance agreement.
After the meeting, Mosley gave some details concerning the situation.
“We’re going to replace 22 units (heating/cooling units) because they failed,” Mosley said. “They were failing before the geothermal problem started, but we didn’t know how badly until the geothermal became 100 percent functional. Now that it’s running, it exposed the bad units.”
According to Mosley, the court has acted as quickly as possible.
“We’ve hurried this process along while still maintaining procurement procedures that are required by the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Mosley said. “Inmate and employee safety is a top priority, that’s why we brought in the portable units. We’re trying to make a not-so-good situation better. I feel like today’s action will get us on the path toward having that entire situation corrected.”
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde