• 57°

County declares emergency to fix jail’s air conditioning

Warren County supervisors Monday declared an emergency after learning one of the compressors in the air conditioning unit at the jail is out of commission.

County purchasing agent Tonga Vinson said the 18-year-old unit went out Thursday.

“Compressor No. 2 is down and needs to be replaced,” she said, adding the system was installed during 1998 and 1999, and designed as a dual compressor.

The estimate to replace the compressor, she said, is $22,374, which includes refrigerant recovery, and a crane to lift the new the unit.

“In 18 years of service, to my knowledge, we have not had to change a compressor,” she said. “This has been the first compressor replacement in all that time. If the main compressor fails before we can make the replacement, we will have no air, and that would cause us to have to house prisoners at other facilities at a substantial cost.”

“That is the unit for the entire building,” said Sheriff Martin Pace, who was not at the meeting. “It has two compressors which alternate operation so they don’t burn up. It cools the jail division, the office division, the kitchen, and the public foyer. This building is not designed to allow drafts of air; it’s strictly operating with heating and air.”

Pace said officials began noticing problems with the unit Feb. 27. He said the contractor who will be working on the replacement said it will take several weeks to get the part and then the work would be scheduled.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John