more heat squeezed for courthouse

Wednesday, January 03, 2018 16:10 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

The historic courthouse in LaPorte will not have to close after squeezing more warmth out of the partially failed heating system.

LaPorte County Commission president Rich Mrozinski said temperatures rose to the mid and upper 60's once technicians Wednesday did some tweaking to draw more heat from the two compressors still functioning.

The other two compressors were burned up.

''They got most of the floors so it's at least tolerable,'' said Mrozinski.

The new heating system put in by the previous administration in 2015 was not designed for wind chills greater than 14 below zero, said Rich Gramarosa, head of maintenance for county government the past year.

He said the compressors burned up Friday from the demands of wind chills exceeding 30 degrees below zero.

Employees reporting for work Tuesday were greeted by indoor temperatures in the 50's to lower 60's and several dozen space heaters were brought in.

Mrozinski said a permanent fix cannot be made sooner because new compressors that can withstand more extreme conditions have to be ordered and technicians associated with the makers of the furnace have to be used to keep from voiding the warranty.

The plan is to install them January 15.

County employees have that day off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and since the heating system has to be totally shutdown to make the repairs conditions becoming too cold will not be an issue, Mrozinski said.

Until then, county employees are being asked to leave their office doors open when they leave for the night to help the heat being produced to circulate as evenly as much as possible.

Fingers are also crossed the recent arctic-like wind chills don't repeat themselves so the compressors still working don't burn up prior to the repairs.

''Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we're going to be ok for now,'' said Mrozinski.