A heat-pump system proposed to replace Marion County Courthouse’s aging heating and cooling system could save the county 50 percent on heating and cooling costs. Similar systems in place since the 1960s still work well, engineer James Scalora, of Orazem & Scalora Engineering, told commissioners Monday via speakerphone.
The system in a Southeast of Saline school building was installed in the 1960s and is still in good operating condition, he said. A similar system at the Riley County Courthouse built in the 1970s is ready for a replacement cooling tower, but is otherwise fine.
The company estimates replacing the existing system could cost $500,000, not including design and permit costs, he said.
Commissioner Randy Dallke asked what the first step would be to replace the existing system. Scalora said hiring an engineer to design a new system and prepare specifications for bid-letting would be where to begin.
Refitting the entire courthouse at one time would be the easiest for construction, he said, but he couldn’t say how difficult it would be to relocate all of the offices in the meantime.
The firm oversaw retrofitting the Geary County Courthouse with a heat-pump system, Scalora said.
Commission discusses cabins at lake
Nick Nickelson of Marion spoke with commissioners about the possibility of developing cabins for short-term rentals at Marion County Park and Lake north of the trailer home park.
Nickelson thinks it would require a minimum of seven cabins to be feasible. He said without hard data on interest in cabins, financing would be difficult to get.
Commission Chairman Dan Holub said Park and Lake Director Steve Hudson receives regular inquiries about cabins. Nickelson said Hudson should keep track of the frequency of such inquiries.
Nickelson said he would conduct further research into the feasibility of such a development.