Fearing aging equipment at jail could fail, commissioners approve new air conditioner, HVAC control and boiler

Microsoft ended sales of Windows XP 11 years ago and stopped support for the software five year ago.

Windows XP is the system used in the control system of the HVAC (heating and air conditioning) system at the Whitfield County Jail, according to Whitfield County Sheriff's Office Capt. Wesley Lynch.

On Monday, the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 to approve a $38,222 bid from Trane to replace the HVAC control system at the jail as well as a $52,572 bid from Trane to replace the air conditioning unit that serves the jail's administrative offices. They also voted 4-0 to approve a $17,746 bid from Battlefield Plumbing to replace a boiler that provides hot water to the jail's kitchen and laundry area.

Commission chairman Lynn Laughter typically only votes in the event of ties.

All three — the control system, the air conditioning unit and the boiler — are 17 years old. and have been serviced numerous times, according to Lynch.

"Most county buildings are open only a third of the day. We are open 24/7, so that really tends to wear the systems," Lynch said. "Not only are we running the HVAC and everything else 24/7, we have people living in this building 24/7."

Commissioners also voted 4-0 to appoint Joel Gribble with the tax commissioner's office as the county abandoned mobile home inspector. That position is authorized by the Georgia Abandoned Mobile Home Act, which took effect earlier this month.

"The legislature seemed to be responding to complaints from landowners who have abandoned mobile homes on their property and their questions about what to do with them," said county attorney Robert Smalley. "The law gives the county the right to appoint someone to determine whether the mobile homes are 'derelict or intact,' and that determination would allow the process to move along for the landowner to move a mobile home off their property."

Gribble does mobile home inspections for the tax commissioner's office.

Smalley says he anticipates that the inspector would make a determination that a mobile home is derelict only at the request of the property owner.

Commissioners also voted 4-0 to:

• Declare a 1996 fire pumper truck and a 1990 Dodge Dakota half-ton pickup truck, both used by the Whitfield County Fire Department, as surplus. The vehicles will be listed on govdeals.com, which is used by governments across the country to sell surplus equipment, and sold to the highest bidder.

• Approve a change order for Fire Station 12, which is being built on South Riverbend Road, to change the substantial completion date — the date by which all major work has been completed — to Sept. 30, 2019, from June 12, 2019. Officials say rain delays hindered the grading of the property.

• Approve a request from Hallmark Development Partners to rezone 28.8 acres on the west right-of-way of Crow Valley Road near Ashton Woods Way to high-density residential from single-family residential. According to notes from Dalton-Whitfield Planning Commission, the developer plans to build workforce housing on the site.

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