County Board moves to purchase air scrubbers for courthouse


John Howard of Peters Heating and Air gives details on how air scrubbers would work in the Adams County Courthouse as County Board Chair Kent Snider looks on. — Photo by J. Robert Gough

QUINCY — The Adams County Board voted to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for what county officials call a “short-term fix” as they work on mold remediation at the courthouse.

During a special meeting Tuesday night, the Adams County Board approved a request for proposals to install air scrubbing equipment into the building’s ventilation system. The step to permanently remediate the building’s mold would follow.

John Howard of Peters Heating and Air Conditioning recommend two different types of air scrubbers, one that would be mounted on the ducts that circulate the air throughout the building and other modular units in rooms less than 3,000 square feet.

The activTek induct 10000 would go on the ducts and the Aerus Pure & Clean+ would be the modular unit.

Howard said this would treat the air and capture the types of bacteria that are currently circulating throughout the building.

Transportation, Building and Technology Committee Chairman Dave Bellis (R-District 3) said Howard had inspected the building in order to make these recommendations, saying different parts of the building will require different units so the RFP can be tailored to meet those needs.

County officials expect the air scrubbers to cost well into six figures, but did not give any initial estimates as not to taint the RFP process.

At last week’s regular monthly meeting, the County Board approved a contract with John A. Jurgiel and Associates, Inc., of St. Louis to conduct an inspection/assessment for a mold remediation plan. Bellis said Jurgiel will receive the contract Wednesday and hopes he does the inspection as soon as possible.

County Board Chairman Kent Snider (R-District 4) said he wanted both the air scrubber bids and Jurgiel’s report before the August 15 County Board meeting and said another special meeting would be held if necessary.

The county has already spent $56,000 with Safestart Environmental out of Chicago to do an initial inspection of the building after the board received complaints from people working in the courthouse in 2022 about the courthouse’s air quality.

Safestart inspected the building in April and shared the results with a few county officials on a zoom call in May. Then last month, Safestart CEO Larry Schwartz held his own zoom meeting where more than 100 people participated. During that meeting, Schwartz recommended the County look at remote work and having those who did have to be in the building wear PPE.

Schwartz is supposed to provide a recording of the May zoom call, but has yet to do so. County Board members have told Muddy River News that Schwartz did not give them the same sense of urgency regarding the building’s condition in that call as he did the June call.

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