New hot water heaters approved for jail
Existing units deemed in immediate need of replacement
BY KEVIN BONESKE
The main purpose for calling Tuesday’s special meeting of the Oneida County Board, authorizing the immediate purchase and installation of four hot water heaters for the county’s law enforcement center, was approved by all 21 supervisors.
The resolution introduced by county Buildings and Grounds Committee chairman Billy Fried calls for a total project cost not to exceed $120,000 with the money coming out of the general fund.
“We felt the sensitivity of this required us to address this as quickly as possible,” Fried said.
County facilities director Lu Ann Brunette said one of the existing three 500-gallon, 1-million BTU hot water heaters that service the water for the jail had failed and leaked into a holding cell.
“Upon further inspection, the other hot water heaters – that were all installed when the building was built back in 1999 – they have issues,” Brunette said.
Brunette said any additional leaks going into the area that also houses the booking area “could be catastrophic, not to mention damage to any wiring, or low-voltage wiring in that area of the building.”
To continue to service the jail with hot water, Brunette said a capital improvement project to replace the hot water heaters, which had been planned for further out into the future, would now be implemented.
“We concluded that the most economical means of providing the hot water is conventional, commercial hot water heaters, based on the cost to purchase and the operational life of the units,” she said.
Brunette said the existing three hot water heaters would be replaced by four 150-gallon, 600,000 BTU hot water heaters, which would operate at 97 percent efficiency, compared to 68 percent efficiency for the existing units. She also noted the cost savings with new units would provide a payback for the replacement in approximately five years.
“There’s a plus side to this disaster,” she said.
Brunette said the new units will be purchased from Hydro-Flo out of Brookfield and installed by a separate vendor to be done in approximately 7-10 days.
“It’s urgent that we get this taken care of right away, and that’s why we have asked you to take away the need for bidding this, since we have this emergency situation,” she said.