Building pipes to cost county thousands to repair

Published: Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

MORRIS – A possible flaw in the Grundy County Administration Building’s pipes could cost the county as much as $3,000 to repair.

The facilities committee met with representatives from Cardinal Fire Protection Inc. on Thursday to discuss the problem, which caused a pipe to burst and forced the administration building to close early two weeks ago.

“It may have been installed wrong or designed wrong, we just don’t know,” said John Roth, facilities committee chairman, on Thursday.

On Jan. 24, one of the water pumps located above the corner office failed, causing the heat to go out, a pipe to burst and a sprinkler head to break inside the county morgue. Once the frozen pipes thawed, they leaked water into the coroner’s offices, causing minor damage.

Experts from Cardinal Inc. discovered a flaw in the pipes, which caused two pumps, used to push hot air and water, to work against each other. Eventually, the counteraction of the pumps caused one of them to break.

The experts said they will need to redo the pipes to keep the failure from happening again.

Currently, the coroner’s office has heat because of a temporary fix, but the county will need to permanently repair the problem soon.

“It’s fine now,” said Christina Hintze-Symoniak, chief deputy coroner. “As long as it doesn’t get to be 19 degrees again, we’ll be alright.”

The county also is looking at installing alarms that would make them aware of any future pump malfunctions so they address the problem before it causes larger problems, as it did this time.

Cardinal presented a tentative quote for the cost of repairing the pipes to the facilities committee but did not have updated quotes for the entire project.

“If you would return to us with a quote as soon as possible, we can get together and decide if this is something that should be acted upon before next month,” Roth said Thursday to the Cardinal representatives.

No guns in county facilities

Residents may be able to carry their guns in public, but they can’t bring them into the Grundy County Administration Building.

In accordance with Illinois law, Grundy County is poised to post the designated signs in all county buildings, notifying the public that firearms, concealed or not, will be prohibited on county property.

Displaying the signs is not mandatory, but during Thursday’s facilities committee meeting, members agreed the county should put the signs in all county buildings regardless.

“You’re better safe than sorry putting those up,” said Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland to the committee members.

Illinois law dictates that firearms cannot be carried into any local government building or mental health facility, which would include the Grundy County Health Department, said Deborah Johnson, Human Resources Director.

“With the health department, the administration building actually covers two prohibited areas,” Johnson said.

The signs will most likely be posted in every entrance to the buildings.

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