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Nanticoke municipal workers sweltering, but cool relief is on way

NANTICOKE – City officials are awaiting the arrival of parts to repair the municipal building’s three-decade-old air-conditioning unit.

The unit has been out for a couple of weeks, making the early 1970s-era glass-sheathed building uncomfortable on days when the sun beats into the two-story facility.

The city is using a fan to keep everyone cool until the repair is made, City Administrator Holly Quinn said.

The city hired Penn State Mechanical of Wilkes-Barre to fix the problems in the HVAC system, which have affected the main floor of the building, which includes District Judge Donald Whitaker’s office, city offices and the police department in the building’s basement.

Penn State Mechanical quoted the city a cost of $4,994. That’s a savings of roughly $1,000, Public Works Foreman Walter Pavelitz said, after two other contractors offered higher quotes to fix the two separate HVAC units.

Finding parts for the unit that is original to the building is sometimes a problem because the unit is so old.

The city also hired Rite Temp Mechanical Contractors of Dalton as part of an annual maintenance program for $1,596 to inspect the HVAC unit twice a year, clean the coils and replace belts as necessary.

“Even if we have breakdowns, maybe it won’t be as costly,” Pavelitz said, comparing this to a person having medical check-ups to spot illnesses before they become serious.

Since the city was declared an Act 47 financially distressed city in May 2006, officials have been watching how much they spend as they try to increase revenue.

Pavelitz said he couldn’t begin to guess the cost of replacing the entire air-conditioning unit.

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