The Richland County commissioners have approved the purchase of new computerized controls for the HVAC system at the county Juvenile Justice complex on South Diamond Street in Mansfield even though the court has not designated where the money will come from to pay for the purchase.
The board voted at its meeting on Thursday to accept a $37,487 quote from Control Concepts Ohio to replace a control system that court officials estimated was 26 years old.
Juvenile Court Judge Steve McKinley and Court Administrator Brian Bumpus met with commissioners on Tuesday seeking funds to pay for the HVAC work as well as $53,606 to raise the starting pay for deputy clerks and youth specialists one-dollar per hour in order to retain and hire new personnel. However, commissioners delayed action until the court provided information about how it provided 3% raises to employees at the start of 2022 and what funds could be transferred from other court budget accounts to pay for the HVAC work.
Commissioners Chairman Tony Vero said that as of Thursday morning, the court had not responded to either request.
“They should have had the spreadsheets on hand and just sent it in,” he said. “It’s not us holding up any potential increases for the people they are seeking to get increases.”
Commissioner Darrell Banks said the HVAC work needs to get done and pointed out that the board told court officials on Tuesday that they should go ahead and pay for the new HVAC controls with current budget funds and if they fall short at the end of the year the board will talk about it. Commissioner Cliff Mears agreed.
Vero again questioned how the facility can have two full-time maintenance personnel and not be more proactive about maintenance issues. Judge McKinley and Bumpus indicated on Tuesday that just one of the rooftop air handling units at the justice facility is working but were not clear if it was because of the controls or problems with the units themselves.
“It’s a large building and if you’re a head administrator out there you need to find out these things and know about them,” Banks said.
Commissioners said Control Concepts Ohio has provided HVAC controls for several other county-owned buildings and that Maintenance Director Chuck Minich is satisfied with the company’s response to any problems.
Youth and Family Council receives funding for needs assessments
In other business, commissioners approved a resolution to accept $30,026 from the Ohio Department of Youth Services for the local Youth and Family Council to provide child and adolescent needs and strength assessments for youths coming out of facilities into residential settings.
“The Department of Youth Services has been doing these internally but can’t continue because of the workload and decided to contract,” explained YFC director Teresa Alt.
Alt said the assessments will be done virtually on a regional basis because not many other agencies want to do them. She said the council already does the assessments for local courts and Children Services and has two staff members and potentially two others who can do the work.
Alt said the contract covers the rest of the current fiscal year and all of fiscal 2023.
Commissioners also opened bids for the final phases of paving and drainage projects at Dayspring, Richland County’s assisted living facility. The work involves paving the second half of the main drive, an auxiliary parking lot and a drive to the facility’s wastewater plant, widening a portion of the drive and connecting several downspouts to the storm water drainage system.
Rising Son Company had the apparent low bid at $104,058. McBee Paving was the only other bidder at $112,425. The project engineer’s estimate was $107,729.
The bids will be reviewed before a contract is awarded. The cost of the project will be covered with $50,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds with the rest coming from money set aside in the Dayspring budget.