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County contemplates purchasing HVAC cleaning equipment

December 21, 2009
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KALISPELL, MT — After allowing dirt, dust and other grime to accumulate in the ductwork of the Flathead County Justice Center''s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, Flathead County Commissioners are finally addressing the situation, according to the Daily Inter Lake.
Parks and Recreation Director Jed Fisher, who also oversees building maintenance, described the condition of the ductwork as "filthy" and said it is in the best interest of the employees and the public to get a handle on the problem, the story stated.
According to the story, there is only one company in the area equipped to handle such industrial-sized cleaning jobs, and that company quoted Flathead County $45,000 to perform the necessary work.
Fisher notified the Flathead County Commissioners that two cleaning units with vacuums powerful enough to properly complete the work could be purchased for $22,000 and the work could be performed in-house, the story noted.
Fisher, who suggested the equipment, if purchased, could be used in several other county-owned buildings, said: "It should be done every couple years. I don''t want to take business away locally, but it makes good business sense to own our own powerful vacuums."
Flathead County has already spent $6,000 cleaning the ductwork in the kitchen area that serves the jail, a necessary move given that the system was so clogged it was causing the heating and cooling systems to decay, the story added.
Commissioner Dale Lauman said: "Cleaning ventilation systems is something you don''t think about until something goes wrong, and vents can harbor a lot of dust and germs. It''s something we''ll have to weigh in on."
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