Commission: Courthouse heating issues corrected

BROOKVILLE — After a recent plunge into frigid temperatures, the Jefferson County Commissioners reported Tuesday that there are no issues with the heating system at the courthouse.

Last January, the courthouse — then only two months removed from an opening ceremony following massive renovations — sustained major water damage when frozen water pipes burst.

The water pipes were affected because of a failure with the building’s heating system. Later, engineers reported that the system had not been properly balanced or commissioned, and errors occurred that led to the breaks.

“The heating system is commissioned now and is working well,” commission Chairman Paul Corbin said. “We’re coming up on the anniversary date, and we certainly don’t want to repeat that.”

Fortunately, the county’s property insurance covered the damage, which was substantial on the first and ground floors. Deductible fees were the only charge to the county, and they totaled $4,000.

Corbin said the system was finally balanced in September and October 2010.

“There were some repairs and adjustments that needed to be rectified,” he said.

In other business:

• The commissioners reported that Historic Brookville Inc. (HBI) presented near-final drawings of the town square that will be located at the former Selker Brothers’ service station.

Corbin said the designs “fit well” with the finished courthouse. Commissioner James McIntyre also said that the plans meshed with the existing Jefferson County Veterans’ Memorial on the courthouse lawn.

Veterans’ organizations like the VFW and American Legion had previously expressed concern that the HBI project would disturb the memorial.

The plans, presented by Jack DeMotte at a Brookville Borough Council meeting earlier this month, also indicate that parking leased by the county will not be disturbed.

Parking is located behind the existing retaining wall of the demolished American Hotel, and provides parking to county employees. The county leases the parking for $4,000 annually, and that arrangement will not be disturbed.

• Karen Lupone, chief clerk and director of elections, reported that the Falls Creek polling location will be moved from the Falls Creek Borough Building to the Falls Creek Fire Hall. The change of location will be in effect for this year’s primary elections.

• The commissioners entered into an agreement for part-time use of a forensic pathologist, Dr. Eric Lee Vey, for one year, retroactive to Jan. 1, in the amount of $850 per autopsy or exam.

• The commissioners entered into a professional service agreement with Debra Schmidt on behalf of Jefferson County Children & Youth Services (CYS) for the period July 1 through June 30.

Schmidt is to provide temporary financial fiscal services in CYS, and will be paid $16.54 per hour.

• The commissioners approved the actual gross payroll for the period Jan. 9 through Jan. 22 in the amount of $196,258.20, and the tentative gross payroll for the period Jan. 23 through Feb. 5 in the amount of $192,000.

• The commissioners approved invoices for the period Jan. 12 through Jan. 25 in the amount of $434,679.99, and pending invoices in the amount of $53,874.01.