County looking to purchase air purifiers for buildings, jail
- Coshocton County Commissioners have about $111,500 in CARES Act funding left to spend from the federal government.
- Money has been used for vehicles, cleaning supplies, overtime and other unexpected expenditures.
- The next project is air purifiers on HVAC units in county buildings at an estimate of $50,000.
- Still being considered is touch less faucets and doors at county buildings.
COSHOCTON – Air purifiers for county buildings is the latest project Coshocton County Commissioners are looking to use CARES Act funding on.
Commissioners said they received approximately $520,000 in the first round of funding received and $270,000 from a second round. Money is to be earmarked for use by Nov. 30 and spent by the end of the year. The county has about $111,500 left.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is providing more than $2 trillion across the U.S. to a variety of individuals, businesses and government entities to help relieve the economic stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments have to show that money is used for unexpected expenditures related to the pandemic.
The county has used funding so far for a new ambulance for Coshocton County Emergency Medical Services, three cruisers for the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office, computers for working from home, various cleaning supplies, Plexiglas barriers at desks, some overtime, rent for a building to separate EMS personnel to prevent a complete shutdown of services if the department would have a COVID-19 case and the temporary move of a part-time position at EMS to full time.
The projection for air purifiers in all county buildings is just under $50,000. Philip A. Wagner has not provided specific estimates for all county buildings yet, but have for some key facilities like the Coshocton Justice Center at $5,775, the Coshocton County Annex building at $4,925 and the Coshocton County Services Building at $7,775.
Air cleaning and filtration on existing HVAC units can help reduce airborne contaminants, including particles containing viruses, especially when outdoor ventilation isn’t possible. The air purifiers would not only help to reduce possible transmission of the coronavirus, but other diseases like the flu and even mold. Even after COVID-19 is a concern, the air purifiers will still be a benefit, said Coshocton County Maintenance Supervisor Ike Reger.
For a facility like the county jail, which has long had issues with mold and airborne elements, the air purifiers will be particularly helpful to the health and safety of inmates overall. Commissioners continue to pursue funding for a new jail, but that has been stalled by the pandemic. A new justice center has long been wanted to deal with overcrowding and building conditions.
“The importance of how these air purifiers work in the jail and confined spaces is huge in my mind. That needs to be a top priority for us,” said Commissioner Dane Shryock.
“I agree. With the overcrowding issue over there. It takes just one COVID-19 case and we’re shipping people out to other facilities and paying for it,” Commissioner Gary Fischer added.
Commissioners want to complete the air purifier project before they look at any others, which could include touchless faucets and doors. During the pandemic, such touchless items have been recommended to reduce the number of people interacting with public, high-touch areas.
While they probably won’t move forward with the touchless doors at county buildings because of price, the faucets are still a possibility. Estimates are $23,826 for 66 bathroom-style faucets and $7,359 for 23 kitchen-style faucets.
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