Hillcrest Square Roof & HVAC

Laurens County Council last night voted to replace half of the heating and air conditioning system at the County’s original “Hillcrest Square” Courts and Services building and to have a new roof put on the building. Billy Wilson from Public Works advised council that replacement of the entire HVAC system would cost $2.5 million, but noted the county is now spending almost $40,000 annually for maintenance costs. He also said the current units are only about 50% effective.

Wilson announced that following a bid opening, Thomas Mechanical of Laurens was selected for the job. Price for replacing the HVAC units on the half of the building that is in the greater need is to cost $1,249,544. The bid from Thomas Mechanical stipulates that the roof-mounted units will be replaced with units installed at a location off the roof. New duct work and new controls will also be installed.

Council also discussed the need to replace the leaky roof on the original portion of the county’s Hillcrest Square complex. A consultant recommend that Laurens County accept a bid of only $586,000 to replace the roof.

Councilman David Pitts questioned the low price, asking if the company had forgotten something. Wilson replied the low bid is because the company is hungry, having just completed a school project and they want to work during the winter.

Council then discussed where the $1.8 Million for the HVAC upgrade for of the building and the entire Roof Replacement will come from. They discussed issuing general obligations bonds, but noted the county still owes money for the bond that financed construction of the new Administrative wing on Hillcrest Square. County Administrator Jon Caine suggested borrowing from “ourselves.” He noted the county has an audited fund balance of $5.7 million, noting that this can be used for a one-time purchase, but not for recurring charges. Camie said that by borrowing from the fund reserve, the county can move forward with the roof replacement and with upgrading half the HVAV on Hillcrest Square. Regarding the HVAC, he pointed out that will use a local contractor and provide a good guarantee, with ten years on parts and one year on labor. He noted this will also provide a considerable cost on the ongoing cost of repairs.