2017-05-11 / Local News

Jail to get new door lock panel; warmth needed to test cooling fix

Donation of $5,000 for K-9
By Eric Carlson
Of The Enterprise staff

With work wrapping up on a new $1 million heating, ventilating and air conditioning system for the county jail and Law Enforcement Center, attention is turning to an upgraded security system that will be installed later this year.

County officials learned last month that a $41,922 grant from the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Agency, the county’s insurance carrier, will pay for the security upgrade.

Lt. Todd Roush of the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office said the grant will pay for an updated electronic control panel which operates all the doors, cameras and intercoms in the jail.

“The current system is outdated to the point that there are no longer replacement parts to fix things when they fail, meaning we could lose a key component such as door controls or emergency intercoms, and there are not parts to fix it,” the jail administrator said. “Furthermore, the manufacturer of the current components has been out of business for more than five years.”

Roush said the current electronic control panel system is the original system placed in the Law Enforcement Center when it was completed in 2005.

“We have been having sporadic issues with the system for approximately three years, once having to wait almost three months for a small part to be found, which was eventually found used on E-bay,” Roush added.

He said the new control panel system is being assembled by a manufacturer according to custom specifications for the LEC, and it will be installed and tested in the LEC sometime in the weeks ahead.

Meanwhile, contractors are winding up an effort to balance and test a new heating, ventilating and air conditioning system at the LEC, according to engineering consultant Kirstin Policastro who presented a report to the County Board at its executive meeting this week.

She said that unusually low temperatures this week resulted in a delay in testing the air conditioning system. She said several days of 70-degree temperatures will be required for contractors to finalize “tweaking and balancing” of the air conditioning system.

County administrator Chet Janik noted that the heating, ventilating and air conditioning upgrade project has been progressing smoothly.

“Not a penny more than was bid on the project has been requested or spent,” Janik said. “There have been no cost overruns.”

In other business related to the jail and law enforcement, Roush requested and received permission from the County Board this week to temporarily exceed the authorized number of Corrections Officers on the staff.

One of the 13 state-certified officers on the staff, Diane Speas, will retire next month after more than 31 years on the job. A five-week overlap to train her replacement will require the temporary authority to exceed the authorized number of Corrections Officers on the staff.

Also, the County Board authorized the Sheriff’s Office to accept a $5,000 donation toward a K-9 police dog program from an anonymous private citizen. So far, private donations to the program have totaled $16,496.

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