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Air conditioning problems in new S. Hill fire station

Published July 13. 2010 05:00PM

Sloppy air conditioning work in Summit Hill's new fire station might be damaging the building.

Summit Hill Borough Council was told last night that components of the air conditioning system are "leaking and doing damage to drywall."

Fire Chief Shawn Hoben said there was even some mold found, and a puddle formed in the training room.

"None (of the air conditioning units) are working properly," he told the council.

He said a dedication program is planned for the fire company on Saturday, July 24 and not everything appears presentable.

"We have wires hanging out the ceiling," he explained.

The council said it will address those concerns, but it won't be in time for the dedication program.

It was agreed to have contractors examine the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system in the borough hall, fire station, and police station, and then make recommendations accompanied by bids on making repairs. There will be separate bids for each structure.

The council said it will advertise immediately for the work, open bids at noon on July 23 in the borough hall, and possibly award contracts for the work at a special meeting of the council to be held at 7 p.m. Monday, July 26.

Last month the council had discussed the possibility of hiring an engineer to draw up specifications for HVAC repairs. Attorney Joseph Matika, the borough solicitor, said he talked with personnel from two firms who advised him that hiring an engineer to draw up specs would be "time consuming and very expensive."

Matika suggested letting the contractors look at the system and come up with their own specifications, for which they would submit bids.

"We could get it done in a shorter time frame for less money," he said.

Michael Kokinda, a councilman, said one of the problems he observed with the HVAC is that when the air conditioning is operating, condensation forms.

"Either a line is blocked or the pump's not working properly," he suggested.

A motion was made by Mike Alabovitz to have the bidding process begin. Matika said, "It looks like it's an emergency situation" at the fire station.

The motion passed 6-0. Council President Michael Weber was absent.

The solicitor said the prospective bidders will have the right to review documents for design plans as well as any other relative documents while working to come up with remediation solutions. In addition, the contractors will be permitted to inspect the existing system.

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