View Full Version : Article: Franklin County officials faced w/overheated Jail

07-06-2005, 01:49 PM
Franklin County officials faced with overheated Jail

Staff Writer

FARMINGTON -- When the compressor that powered the air-conditioning system at the Franklin County jail died during the heat wave last week, a thermometer inside one cellblock soared to 93-degrees at night, the jail administrator told county commissioners Tuesday. Bids are expected back Friday on replacing and/or repairing the 23-year-old system but it will be up to two months to get it repaired or replaced.

Jail Administrator Sandra Collins said the work will be costly but declined to estimate the amount before the bids were opened. Money for the work would be taken out of the county's contingency account, commissioners agreed.

The cooling portion of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system failed June 26 during a week when temperatures inside climbed to the low 90s. The jail windows cannot be opened for security reasons and fans are not used because inmates brake them or stick their fingers in the blades, she said.

"It is stifling in there," said Sheriff Dennis Pike.

Collins said that if the temperature extremes continue, it could be necessary to board out inmates to other jails at a cost of about $100 per day per inmate.

Another possible solution would be to rent a portable "chiller" for the system. Themanufacturer would put the $2,900 per week rental toward purchase of a new one. The rental cost is small compared to the cost of relocating and transporting the jail population to and from court hearings but Collins and Pike agreed that the money would be better spent putting it toward a replacement.

Collins was mostly concerned about her staff, who can get some relief in the separately cooled control room. The kitchen crew, however, has been having a hard time in the heat. Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay commended Collins on her handling of the emergency situation.

In other matters Tuesday, a temporary agreement had been reached with Rangeley for the town to continue accepting household trash from camp owners in the adjoining unorganized townships until a permanent arrangement can be negotiated.

The town had said it would stop accepting township garbage at its transfer station July 1 after the fee for trash services was cut from a $17,000 request to $10,000 because commissioners believed the cost was too high. Rangeley on Tuesday provided new data defending its charges and invited commissioners to discuss them at a selectmen's meeting July 14.

Also, an agreement has been negotiated with Kingfield to continue providing fire protection to properties on Freeman Ridge Road across to the intersection of Routes 142 and 145 in neighboring Freeman Township for $3,500 for 2005-06. Commissioners had reduced the town's $5,500 request to $1,500 for fire protection because the county is now supporting Salem Township's new fire department.

In other matters, Pike said the 2005 Verizon phone book for the Farmington area had failed to include the toll-free number for the sheriff's department. That number is (800) 773-2680.

07-06-2005, 01:55 PM
try living in a texas prison where there is no a/c at most units and most without an option to purchase a fan. I am sure that the inside temperature in their dorms are well above 100 degrees. I am sure most inmates would find 93 degrees comfortable.