Workers try to detect source of courthouse 'smell'

Apr. 23—Work remained underway on the new HVAC system installed at the Pittsburg County Courthouse, with workers trying to find what's causing a lingering odor.

Pittsburg County Commission Chairman/District 3 Commissioner Ross Selman said workers with Johnson Controls were trying to find the source of the odor that some county officials and courthouse employees have detected since installation of the new system.

"There's a smell around the courthouse," Selman said.

Selman described it as a burning-like smell which possibly could be attributed to several factors, but he was hopeful it would be pinpointed by workers who were looking into what is causing it.

Workers with Johnson Controls, the company which installed the new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, were back at the courthouse Monday.

"They're still working some bugs out," Selman said.

"They'll fire up the heaters," he said of their efforts to pinpoint the smell.

Selman said work is also still ongoing on the HVAC system atop the Pittsburg County Courthouse Annex, which houses the District 18 District Attorney's Office.

Even as the work was ongoing, Pittsburg County commissioners approved Payment Application No. 3 to Johnson Controls in the amount of $80,073.53 for the Courthouse HVAC replacement project.

Joining Selman to make the vote unanimous were District 1 Commissioner Charlie Rogers and Sandra Crenshaw, the chief deputy for District 2. Crenshaw is representing District 2 until a new commissioner is elected following the resignation of Kevin Smith, who retired from the post.

Crenshaw said the payment approved Monday was the third payment application commissioners approved to Johnson Controls, but she said it is not the last.

Does Selman think installation of the new HVAC system will resolve the longtime issue where some courthouse employees say their offices are too hot, while others say their offices are too cold?

"I think they're just about to get everything leveled out," said Selman, then added "I hope so."