The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 28, 2014

County mulls fire system upgrade

By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — The Clinton County Administration Building soon will get an upgrade to an obsolete fire alarm system after failing an inspection with the fire marshal.

Building and maintenance supervisor Corey Johnson reported the fire alarm issue to the county Board of Supervisors at a meeting last week, and on Monday he came back with options to replace the nearly 40-year-old system.

“(We have) two local bids to replace the fire alarm panel here in the administration building,” Johnson told the Board of Supervisors on Monday. “If you actually go through them, line item by line item, they’re identical. The only major difference between the two bids is the company, but both (make) very good panels.”

The other major difference in the bids was the cost and as a finalized budget quickly approaches, that weighed heavily on Johnson’s mind.

Of the two bids, one from Lectronics, Inc. and the other from Company One Fire Suppression, Lectronics offered a newly designed fire alarm system with a Honeywell fire panel, removal of the old system and labor, instillation and technical services for $37,486.

Company One offered the exact same service, with the inclusion of a five-year warranty for an Edward’s fire panel for $44,072, approximately $6,500 more than Lectronics’ offer.

“The Edward’s panel does have a little longer warranty on it but for the price difference I guess I would stay with the Honeywell panel,” Johnson said. “With budgets being tight, and we’re having to figure out how we’re going to pay for this, I don’t think we should move forward with it just yet.”

Although he favored the Lectronics bid because of the lower cost and an option to pay for the upgrade in two lump sums, Johnson asked the supervisors for an extra week to weigh the payment options and assess his budget.

Once Johnson makes a decision on which payment option is suitable for the building and maintenance budget and it is approved by the supervisors, work on the new fire alarm system could begin in as little as two weeks, with the first payment of approximately $18,000 due in July.

“He said they could be working in the building within two weeks,” Johnson said. “It takes about two weeks to get all the city permits and go through and draw the whole system out, submit it to the fire marshal for approval, and then they would start immediately.”

The next step for Johnson is to go over numbers with Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker and return to the Board of Supervisors next week with a resolution to replace the out-of-date fire alarm system.