Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Elevator pricetag: $400K

Relief funds to pay for project

By William Kincaid
CELINA - The 80-year-old courthouse elevator will undergo a substantial overhaul that will be paid for with federal COVID-19 relief funds.
The total project is estimated to cost $400,000, per a resolution approved by Mercer County commissioners. They plan to open sealed bids for the work at 2 p.m. Nov. 16.
The elevator equipment, engineered and installed in 1941, is in poor condition. Specifically, the dispatching system, motor control and other critical equipment are obsolete, commissioners revealed in their resolution.
"Existing controls are original Westbrook Elevator Manufacturing engineered in 1971. Original equipment parts are not available for this product," the resolution reads. "The technology is outdated; the support and technician's knowledge of this product is limited. Existing signal fixtures are obsolete and dated. The elevator cab interiors are original."
Modernization of elevator equipment, the resolution states, will require upgrades to the courthouse "for code compliance within limitations of existing structure to ensure acceptability of the new installations."
President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan Act funds can be used for government services in instances where revenues were reduced due to the pandemic, according to the resolution. Government services include maintenance or pay as you go funded building of infrastructure.
Moreover, commissioners in their resolution agree the elevator modernization project meets the criteria of government services and will result in improved system reliability, stopping accuracy, door operation and ride quality.
It would also provide compliance with fire recall requirements, the Americans with Disabilities Act and existing elevator and building code requirements.
Mercer County's government has received $3.9 million, its first installment of American Rescue Plan Act funds. A second allocation of the same amount will arrive a year later, together providing nearly $8 million, county officials said.
Commissioners late last month approved using the funds to buy a nearly $50,000 power load cot system that will be used by a Rockford unit of the county's Emergency Medical Services. In August, they agreed to a similar expenditure with the funds, purchasing a Power-Pro XT Cot, MTS Power Load System and accessories for $48,330.06 through Stryker Medical.
In July, they signed off on a request to spend $86,056.34 in American Rescue Plan Act funds toward a $286,000 upgrade of the county common pleas court's online record system and its adult probation department's case management system. The upgrades will allow for remote access to the systems, thus facilitating social distancing.
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