September 1, 2014

Elyria
Partly sunny
86°F
test

Elyria City Hall workers hope grant spells relief with AC on the fritz

ELYRIA — Things are heating up at city hall, and it has nothing to do with the upcoming change in administration.

The building is getting hotter.

.

.

The current air conditioning systems is in need of significant repairs, which will prompt City Council members to have a special meeting at 6 p.m. today in Council Chambers to discuss replacing the system with an energy-efficient one.

Mayor Bill Grace said Council will be presented with a plan to use a portion of a Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council grant to replace the system at a cost of approximately $135,000.

“It tends to work in the morning, but by the end of the day it can’t keep up, and things are getting pretty warm in the building,” Grace said of the system.

Technicians have said a compressor in the system has gone down. This is the second time in three years the city has had a problem with a compressor. Two years ago, the city spent $30,000 to repair a broken compressor.

The $428,000 NOPEC grant originally was granted to the city to pay for retrofitting the former Moen building when the city was looking to purchase it as the new central maintenance facility.

When that deal fell through, NOPEC told the city it could possibly retain the grant if it amended the grant application to reflect the new use. The grant is part of the “Powering Our Communities” program from Akron-based FirstEnergy Solutions as part of an agreement the utility company struck with the energy council earlier this year. NOPEC is the largest nonprofit government energy aggregation in the nation.

If Council approves the grant change, the new system could be up and running in a couple of weeks, Grace said.

“We are faced with repairing this one or replacing it with a higher-efficiency system that will eliminate the constant need to repair,” Grace said.

Grace said the remaining portion of the grant will be used to improve the Hilltop building on Burns Road. The building is used for seasonal storage, but the city hopes to use it for records storage.

Public records are housed at the old City Hall at 328 Broad St. Finding adequate storage for records is important because, under Ohio’s public records law, the city has to keep records from one year to seven years to indefinitely depending on the record.

The Hilltop building needs a new roof, windows, and heating and cooling system.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.