Commission discusses HVAC system replacement recommendations

Commissioners Sam Nolte, Kristie Tenney and Terry Cutright

BUCKHANNON — The Upshur County Commission discussed the possibility of a new HVAC system at the Upshur County Courthouse with James Swiger, President of WYK Associates, Inc., and Vince Feidler, Principal of Scheeser Buckley Mayfield, Thursday morning.

Going over their HVAC assessment, Feidler noted that first priority, in his opinion, are the boilers. “They’ve seen their time,” he noted. With all three of them seemingly needing replaced, he estimated the cost to be approximately $130,000. Their recommendation to the commissioners is to replace the existing boilers with high efficiency condensing boilers. According to their assessment, “The existing boilers are approximately 84% efficient. Operational cost saving would be experienced if the boilers were replaced with high efficiency condensing boilers, which can be as high as 94% to 96% efficient.”

These boilers, coupled with installing new redundant heating water distribution pumps, are the top priority, according to Feidler. The cost to replace the existing pump with two equally-sized pumps is estimated to cost $30,000 for both. Their assessment reads, “A single heating water distribution pump is currently used to circulate the heating water throughout the building. If the single pump should fall during the peak heating system, the entire building would be without heat until the pump could be repaired/replaced. This could result in pipes freezing should the time needed to repair/replace the pump occur during subfreezing temperatures.” Therefore, they recommend replacing with two equally-sized pumps in parallel to ensure heating water is constantly available. This process must also include the installation of a new chemical shot feeder.

Feidler’s third most important recommendation is to enable a full air-side economizer operation. This would cost approximately $175,000. According to the assessment, this would be for the unit to provide cooling to the building by utilizing outdoor air in lieu of mechanical cooling when the temperature outside drops below 60 degrees.

Another priority to Feidler would be to upgrade the existing temperature control system. Feidler compared these systems to an iPhone. For example, he noted the longer you keep the old stuff, the less it works with the new stuff. According to their assessment, “These upgrades are required, not necessarily because the existing systems do not function properly, but due to lack of support for the older systems.” Feidler and Swiger recommended the Carrier iVu control system with the most recent version. They estimated the cost of this installation to be approximately $15,000.

These recommendations, in addition to a system flush/chemical treatment and converting existing air handling unit from constant air volume to variable air volume, is expected to cost approximately $557,000. Feidler noted there is a 15 to 20 year predicted lifespan on the new recommended system.

The commission will discuss these recommendations and potentially seek bid offers to complete the installation of this recommended installation at a later date.

The commissioners also discussed Upshur County Safe Structures and Sites Enforcement Board Petition for Order filed December 16, 2021 – Case Number 070821-02 (Banks Tax District – Tax Map 4 – Parcel Number 2). The property was owned by David Miller, who is deceased. The fiduciary/administrator of the estate is David Bolyard Jr. The case originated in July of 2021. It was noted during the commission meeting that they are waiting to hear if Bolyard provided proper documents to the heirs of the estate, which include four daughters.

Commissioner Sam Nolte made a motion to table the item until they receive further clarification on how to move forward.

The next regular meeting of the Upshur County Commission will take place Thursday, January 20 at 9 a.m.

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