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Courthouse chiller repair less than expected

The good news is replacing a 37-year-old chiller is going to cost about half what county officials originally thought.
Better news is the Administrative Office of the Courts has agreed to cover 40 percent of the costs, Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham.
The best news was finding out Wednesday night the county’s insurance will cover all but $2,500 of the county’s share.
During a special meeting of the Clark County Fiscal Court Wednesday morning, the magistrates voted unanimously to pay  the $47,391 repair bill from the county’s “rainy day fund,” which will be reimbursed when payments are received.
Branham said the compressor for the air conditioning system failed a week ago. While the compressor has been replaced several times, the chiller itself was at the end of its useful life. Replacing the compressor would have cost about $14,000, but Branham said it seemed wasteful put a new part on the failing chiller.
The replacement chiller includes a new compressor, he said.
“We’ve been nursing it along,” Branham said.
The failure affected about half of the courthouse, including Branham’s office, the fiscal courtroom, the family courtroom on the top floor and the family court judge’s office in the basement, he said.
Work began on the courthouse Tuesday. Officials with Disponette Service of Lexington, which is performing the work, said everything could be completed next week, Branham said.
“They’ve assured me they’ll have us up and running by Wednesday or Friday next week,” Branham said. “Next Wednesday, family court comes back online.”
Until then, Branham said window air conditioners will be installed to help the computers, as well as the people, cope with the temperatures.
The chiller was installed as part of the courthouse addition in 1980, he said.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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