By CHRIS AGEE
County commissioners heard a presentation Monday morning concerning the modernization of the Palo Pinto County Courthouse elevator.
Ricky Peters of Longhorn Elevator addressed commissioners and county staff, explaining the scope of suggested repairs and renovations.
A primary concern lies in the valve system, he explained, which is not working adequately and can result in the elevator cab stopping just above or below the intended floor.
Additionally, he provided a list of other replacements, including a new controller, power unit, door operator, wiring and switches.
“Everything is new except the cab,” he said of the proposed modernization plan.
One reason a complete overhaul is recommended, he said, is because the original manufacturing company is now out of business, making replacement parts exceptionally difficult to find, should the elevator malfunction. He added the parts are mostly original and are in need of modernization.
“Nothing has been updated except the buttons,” he said. “That’s not really expensive and that comes with our package.”
Peters assured commissioners the proposed work could be completed during regular business hours.
“It’s pretty noise-free,” he said, “not a lot of drilling.”
He estimated crews would work between three and four weeks to complete the project. Work cannot start for about three months, he said, explaining commissioners would first need to approve ordering the needed supplies.
“We just need the down payment to get all the materials ordered,’ he said.
Commissioners discussed funding options for the $21,500 needed for parts, asking County Treasurer Steve Watson for input.
“If it’s an emergency we can take it out of reserves,” he said.
County Judge David Nicklas contended the state of the elevator constituted an emergency and made a motion to declare it as such.
“We’ve already had people trapped on the elevator,” he said. “It’s not working properly.”
After declaring an emergency, commissioners were then able to authorize a bid to Longhorn Elevator and remove $42,550 – the estimated cost of the project – from budget reserves and reallocate the funds to building maintenance.
Commissioners voted to approve the motion.