Calhoun County approves new HVAC system for county administration building | Local

Calhoun County will be replacing its heating, ventilation and cooling system at its administration office building.

The county is contracting with The Greenway Group to spend $228,880 for the project. Calhoun County Council unanimously approved the contract on Feb. 14.

The new units are expected to be installed within the coming weeks. 

“We got this budgeted,” Calhoun County Administrator John McLauchlin told council. “We knew we were going to have problems. We have been having problems for the last several years. We have been accumulating this budget to try to take care of this.”

The project includes the installation of five 4-ton units and five 4-1/2 ton units of a LG Multimax split heat pump system.

The contract will include removing the current system and installing the new one, McLauchlin said.

The majority of the current units for the building have been in place since the middle 1980s, McLauchlin said.

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“We have had to switch out some parts and pieces through the years but for the most part, this is the original,” McLauchlin said.

McLauchlin said the county has gone through the state’s energy office vetting process to ensure the matter is handled appropriately.

McLauchlin thanked county staff for “hanging in there with us” during the hot summers and cold winters as the aged HVAC system struggled.

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The transition to the new system is expected to be relatively seamless.

“We feel like it is going to last longer and actually be more comfortable to employees and citizens coming in and out of the the building,” McLauchlin said. “You can set up different zones.”

McLauchlin said the project will “definitely” mean savings due to the more modern and energy-efficient units. He said a dollar amount in savings has not been determined, but the matter will be researched and information provided to council.

In other matters, South Carolina Association of Counties Risk Manager Van Henson presented the county a plaque recognizing it as the first runner-up for 2021-22 “Best Experience Modifier Rate” of .58. The county received the award at a recent statewide meeting of the South Carolina Association of Counties.

Henson explained the experience modifier rate is a formula used to look at a county’s historical cost of injuries and future risk chances. 

Henson said the county’s expected workers compensation premium loss is 1.00, which means that the county’s .58 modifier rate is 42% lower than expected workers compensation premium losses.

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“Anything below a 1 is a great job,” Henson said. “To be that significant amount below is astonishing.”

Hanson said due to its rate, the county saw a 42% savings in insurance premiums, which correlates to about $102,000.

“Calhoun County can do a lot more with $102,000 rather than pay insurance premiums,” Henson said. “Safety does pay.”

“It shows the dedication as far as staying ahead of these key programs in place mitigating hazards and risk factors,” Henson said, noting the county has been proactive in ensuring reducing employee risk.

  • Council gave unanimous first reading to an ordinance that would adopt the Calhoun County Council electoral districts based on the 2020 census. Council expects some small changes to districts.
  • Council was informed the Calhoun Industrial Park has received Palmetto Site Certification. This is to confirm that all diligence such as engineering and wetlands and environmental work has been done at the park.

“It puts us in line from a certification standpoint so when an industry or a company comes to look at Calhoun County and they have specific details they want and need they can pull this certification that has already been done and it gives them everything they need to know,” McLauchlin said. “It streamlines the time, it streamlines the money.” $5.99 for the first month

  • Council gave unanimous first reading by title only to an ordinance placing the Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s $10 million to $12 million broadband expansion project in the county within a joint county industrial park with Orangeburg County. The joint county industrial park is not a physical park but an incentive used to encourage industries to locate, expand or invest in the region.

The county had previously given three readings with plans to partner with Lexington County in the incentive package, but due to conflicts about the project Lexington has chosen to bow out of the project.

  • Council adopted a magistrate appointment letter sent from Judge Jeffrey Bloom asking for the governor to renew the terms of Bloom; Joseph D. Teague and Cassandra Keller. The judges serve four-year terms.
  • Council unanimously approved a resolution to amend an agreement related to a joint county industrial park with Lexington County. The project is related to Bentley Pontoons in Lexington County.
  • Council will now allocate a place on its agenda to allow the public to provide comments on agenda items and non-agenda items. Public comments would be kept within a reasonable time limit. The public comment period will be for commenting purposes only, with no action being taken by council.

Individuals wanting to make a formal appearance before council need to contact the Calhoun County Council clerk on the Thursday before the council meeting.

  • Council went into closed session to discuss economic development matters related to Project Cloverleaf and Project AD. Council also received legal advice on opioid legislation and discussed contractual matters related to E-911 Communications.