SUMITON CITY COUNCIL

Ellis: Sumiton Senior Center has 'serious' HVAC, water needs

City council authorizes mayor to get bids, proceed with repairs

By ED HOWELL
Daily Mountain Eagle
ed.howell@mountaineagle.com
Posted 7/20/21

SUMITON - The Sumiton City Council gave authority to Mayor Petey Ellis on Tuesday to obtain and execute low bids in an urgent move to repair a water leak and long-standing air conditioning and heating problems at the Sumiton Senior Center, which all together could run into a cost of between $50,000 and $100,000. 

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

SUMITON CITY COUNCIL

Ellis: Sumiton Senior Center has 'serious' HVAC, water needs

City council authorizes mayor to get bids, proceed with repairs

Posted

SUMITON - The Sumiton City Council gave authority to Mayor Petey Ellis on Tuesday to obtain and execute low bids in an urgent move to repair a water leak and long-standing air conditioning and heating problems at the Sumiton Senior Center, which all together could run into a cost of between $50,000 and $100,000. 

The water and air conditioner problems in general are separate from each other, Ellis said, who called the overall issues "serious." Work on all the needs will likely take until the end of the year, he said after the meeting. 

Although the council grappled with how to word the action in a motion, essentially the city officials appeared to be authorizing emergency repairs to the building. 

City Clerk Nina Absher said after the meeting each part that would be bid out under the project would not trigger a more formal bid process under the state's bid process. Ellis said, "There are about four different deals and we will probably wind up with more than $50,000 and hopefully less than $100,000 before we get through, under the scope of the whole project." 

Councilmen Floyd Burton and Bill Fowler were not present for the meeting. 

During the meeting, Ellis presented an approximately $11,000 quote from Schneider Electric in Pelham to change out what officials said was the electronic brains of the HVAC system to overhaul the control system. Another bid is also being obtained, he said, adding later he wished more local bidders could be obtained.

"It's just not working. Sometimes it cools and sometimes it doesn't," Ellis told the council. "It will go from cooling to heating. The downstairs, if I understand it, is not working at all." He said over the years it has not been maintained as it should have been, and the city has not been getting good feedback on what it should be doing along the way. 

"That's not anybody else's fault but mine. I'll have to take that," he said. 

A recommendation was also in place "off the main boiler that we put a water treatment facility in there on that, because over the years it has rusted out and it will have to be redone," he said. 

"Here we are at $11,000 already. I'm asking the council to give me the authority to go ahead and proceed to get another bid and proceed with the repairs there. Of course, I would bring it back to the table, that we can get started on that and getting the heating and cooling system as it should." 

He said the basement is leaking, but he didn't know if it was a design flaw, noting water is coming in with the electricity lines in the conduit. "It is running through the fuse box, and it is going to create a dangerous situation, if it hasn't already," he said. "So we are going to have to dig that out."

City operations manager Tim Diveto said the city can dig it out itself, but anywhere from five to eight conduits are running through the area, criss-crossing over each other. 

"Our plans, the last time we had it dug out, was to open the bottom of the conduit and have a pump in there and do a concrete box" where the water would run into it. 

Ellis said the pump is not working because water is in the bottom of the elevator shaft. Diveto said something is needed outside where water is about to enter the building, and then have it flow back to a sump. Conduit would still have to be dug up, and there is concrete already poured under the conduit and was sloping back. 

"So are we going to have to dig up the whole yard?" Ellis asked. "That corner right there, out there by the generator," Diveto said.

Ellis asked Diveto to get a contractor to give a repair price quote, and the city will go ahead and dig it out to see where they stand. 

"I don't think this can delay anymore. I think it is something that needs to be done," he said. 

"The one control panel that takes all the water will probably have to be replaced," Diveto said. "That's about $10,000 in itself," Ellis said. 

Councilman Kenneth Russell recommended Diveto proceeding to dig out the area and he can proceed to get bids for that particular job, as the city is doing with the electrical work. 

After the meeting, Ellis said the city installed a boiler system for the HVAC system. "That building is right on the border line of the boiler system, or four or five units. In hindsight, I wish we had put in four or five air conditioning units," he said.