Leak in courthouse reported

A leak in the hot water heating system at the Piatt County Courthouse caused water to flow into the second floor state’s attorney’s office over the holidays.

Sheriff David Hunt called it “a major leak,” adding “they had a mess in there.”

The culprit was the same as one that resulted in water soaking insulation in the attic and producing foul odors in November. Maintenance Supervisor Doug Winder said plugs aimed at halting the flow of water in unused portions of balancing control valves have been wearing out, resulting in holes large enough for liquid to get through.

At the county board building and grounds committee meeting on Jan. 2, Winder estimated there were at least 30 plugs in the courthouse, some of which have been replaced. The remainder will be swapped out after the heating season concludes.

“In the spring, we’ll start replacing them as part of the preventative maintenance,” he said, noting that three have already malfunctioned.

Having a full maintenance staff will help in those efforts, something the county now has for the first time since September. Winder said Richard Hedges has been hired as a maintenance assistant, while Matt Lee is on board as an additional maintenance worker. Winder said the maintenance worker post will also be trained on preventative maintenance duties in order to help keep up with those efforts at county-owned properties.

“We’ve got a little behind, and our budget doesn’t allow us to hire someone who is an expert in everything, so it will take a while to get them up to speed,” added Winder. “I feel very optimistic that we’ve got a good crew.”

Hunt also reported his office at the public safety building had experienced a leak due to roof issues that will need to be addressed.

Committee Chairman Ray Spencer asked if a protocol was in place for snow removal at the public safety building. Winder said he would take care of calling a contractor if the county was unable to get to the jail in a timely manner.

In other business, Mental Health Center Director Tony Kirkman announced that a conference room remodel at the center is set to begin, with completion expected sometime in February.



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