By MIKE MCCOY
Statesman Staff Writer
BLOOMFIELD, Mo. - The Stoddard County Commission approved repairing the 150 KW diesel generator at the Justice Center at a cost of $14,186.10 at its regular meeting Monday. The commission looked at two other proposals for replacing the generator, both of which were substantially higher in cost.
Building Superintendent William Dowdy told the commission the problem with the generator in Justice Center was "worst case scenario." He said the generator basically "exploded" and was in parts. He said he was told there was a problem with the manufacturing of that generator.
Presiding Commissioner Greg Mathis said it needed looking into to see if a cause could be determined.
Dowdy said the generator was no longer under warranty. He said Southeast Services, Inc. had submitted a price for the repairs, and the new parts would be made of molded plastic. The biggest cost would be to replace the 520MM stator which would cost $3,550.50. A new rotor would cost $4,190.05 along with a new stator fan and miscellaneous hardware. He said the generator did not have a lot of hours of usage on it, and after repairs it should be good for several more years.
Dowdy also submitted the cost of replacing the generator with the exact same model. That would cost $42,288.77, according the information provided by Southeast Services. They also submitted an estimate for replacing the old generator with a new model that would use natural gas. The cost of that generator along with installation was $36,981.55.
Commissioner Frank Sifford said he initially thought the repairs would cost around $5,000, but must have been looking at the cost of a different problem.
The Justice Center is now being serviced by a backup generator purchased through a FEMA grant. That generator is a 80 KW and is portable. It was obtained after the 2009 ice storm. Mathis pointed out that the portable generator is available to cities, townships and other government entities in the county.
Commissioner Carol Jarrell asked Dowdy, "If we repair it (generator), will it be as good as a new one?"
Dowdy said it should last several more years and function just as good as a new one. He qualified the remark by saying it is "supposed to." He noted there had been a lot of problems with equipment in the Justice Building that should not have occurred.
Sifford said he still believed there were problems with the electrical surges in the building. He also said he thought lightning had hit the building, which would account for the electrical problems that have surfaced recently.
Dowdy said SEMO Electric, the service provider, was coming to check the building thoroughly to see if there were electrical surges in any part of the building. He said they would also check to see if the building is properly grounded.
"I hate to spend that kind of money just to repair it," stated Sifford.
"Do we want to hold off on this until you (commissioners) are more comfortable?" Mathis asked.
After some more discussion, Sifford made a motion to have the generator repaired, and Jarrell seconded it. It passed by a 3-0 vote.
Dowdy said the problems at the building did not stop there. He said the heat exchanger on RTU #2 was cracked and had to be replaced. He said the unit was also leaking freon, which had nothing to do with the cracked heat exchanger.
Langford Mechanical and Sheet Metal, Inc. submitted a cost of $6,227.84 to install a new heat exchanger. He said this would not fix the freon leak, though. Langford submitted a cost of $19,349.06 to remove the old unit and install a new unit.
"Unit two has continually given us problems," Dowdy said.
Mathis said RTU #1 was replaced last year. He also pointed out that the air conditioner part of the unit was still functioning, and the heat exchanger was not needed currently.
"I, for one, don't want to repair it," stated Sifford.
Sifford said they should postpone a decision until it was determined if there was a problem with fluctuations in the electricity in the building.
"We do need some answers," said Dowdy.
Mathis and Jarrell agreed that a decision should be made after the building was checked thoroughly.
Mathis called County Assessor Kay Asbell to the meeting to report on problems at the Bloomfield Post Office.
Asbell said she was told that all the mail was taken to Dexter where it was sorted and sent out for delivery. She said she had no direct source for the information, but noted that her office did receive letters that were postmarked April 23, which would have been prior to the problem. The Bloomfield Post Office was closed last Wednes-day when asbestos was discovered in the building. It was reported that no mail was moving from the facility.
Asbell said there were time sensitive documents in the way of deeds and other items that could cause problems if they were not received. She believes the mail was delivered, she told the commission.
Bloomfield Alderman Randy Supancic said he has been speaking with people in the Postal Service and was told the mail was picked up at the Bloomfield office last Friday and taken to Dexter for distribution. He said the City of Bloomfield had offered the Postal Service the use of the basement at City Hall to use until asbestos is removed from the Post Office building.
"They can't do anything in there until the air is determined to be safe," Supancic said.
He said he was still awaiting word from the Postal Service about whether they would use the basement. He noted the building was ADA compliant, which was necessary.
Asbell asked him if the county could continue mailing from the drop box. Supancic said he believed they were still picking up mail at the drop box on a "periodic basis."
"If it is important I think I would take it to Dexter," he said.
Mathis announced that the Dexter American Legion Post would be sponsoring Government Day for the Dexter schools. He said a class would be visiting the Government Building and Justice Center on May 17, and office holders would make brief presentations about their job responsibilities and "how their office works."