The Jackson County Commission held a work session followed by a regular meeting on August 26, 2019.

The commission once again explained the reasoning behind County Road 17 being first on the list of road repairs to concerned citizens. The county began the selection process by assessing damages and comparing projected costs to the amount of funds they had available to begin the repair process. Because County Road 17, through an emergency relief project with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), will show a quicker return on reimbursements, that section of road was chosen to repair first. When the reimbursements for 17 arrive, that money will go to the implementation of the next road repair project. In the matter of funds, this is the only foreseeable solution as the estimated millions of dollars needed to repair the four closures are nonexistent. The FHWA funds will arrive quicker than FEMA, as the county can attest to, with only just receiving FEMA funds this spring from road repair reimbursements submitted in 2015. The process should snowball, allowing the county to repair the roads quicker than with just relying on FEMA.
Citizens have voiced concerns with the delay as Alabama is now entering into the fall and winter seasons. Many have dealt with long detours and extra fuel expenses. Another concern is the delay of emergency services as they would have to take the detours as well, delaying immediate care. With FEMA already having investigated damages, assessments completed and fund requests officially submitted, all other projects are on stand-by for the next step of the repair process, and once reimbursement funds from the FHWA arrive, the process should begin.
Cory Palmer of Johnson Controls International (JCI) presented his findings concerning the HVAC units servicing the Jackson County courthouse. The first concern is a 125-ton screw train chiller with only one out of two compressors operating correctly. Palmer stated the chiller is the heart and soul of the cooling system for the courthouse, and as it is nearing 20 years of age, has almost run its life cycle.
The other pressing concern was the air handler number three, which services the second floor. Palmer stated the entire floor of the handler has disintegrated, causing water problems in the basement and less efficiency in water usage, pressure, and air. Palmer also investigated the water cooler on the roof and was able to stick his finger into the side of the unit. He stated something must be done immediately because it’s falling apart, driving up energy costs with water running into the parking lot during the summer time and the leaks causing a loss of pressure and evaporation.
To summarize, Palmer stated JCI recommended as a solution, to change out the chiller in the basement, cooling tower on the roof, the number three air handler, the number one air handler, to install a new control system to tie in with all new equipment including the boiler, and retro-fitting 20 Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes and replacing 8 VAV boxes. JCI performed an energy savings projection on a 12-cent per kilowatt base. Replacing the chiller would save the county an estimated $14,000 per year, and replacing the air handlers would give the county an estimated 30-40% savings on their efficiency. Palmer also presented financing options for the county. One through the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA) and the other through Johnson Controls.

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