Courthouse Elevator Repair Decision Tabled for Review

 County Public Works Director Roy Carney watches County Controller Myra Miller open one of two bids received vying to repair an Armstrong County Courthouse elevator. Both bids are being reviewed before a contractor is decided.

County Public Works Director Roy Carney watches County Controller Myra Miller open one of two bids received vying to repair an Armstrong County Courthouse elevator. Both bids are being reviewed before a contractor is decided.

by Jonathan Weaver

Bids to repair a handicapped-accessible elevator that has been out-of-service since around Election Night were opened this week.

County Controller Myra Miller opened two bids Thursday – a total bid of nearly $49,200 from Otis Elevators (which has six offices in Pennsylvania, including in Pittsburgh (Robinson Township), and a total bid of $51,500 from Eastern Elevator Service and Sales, based in Windber (Somerset County).

County Public Works Director Roy Carney said problems making the elevator inoperable began in mid-November.

“There’s a major problem with the elevator – there’s a hole going in the shaft that’s going into the ground, making hydraulic fluid spill,” Carney said.

Carney explained the hydraulic fluid helps the elevator ascend or descend three floors, but without it, the elevator seemingly-bounces. Upon further inspection, a small hole was found in the piston.

The replacement would have to be built specially for the courthouse and installed in pieces using a crane.

After hearing the two bids, Carney asked County Commissioners Pat Fabian, Jason Renshaw and George Skamai to table the final decision for review and tabulation. Commissioners accepted the request.

“Even though it will slow the process down, I still want to review the documents, make sure everything is in order,” Carney said.

Fabian said the two bids are less money than he anticipated based on previous discussion.

The county currently has been contracted with Otis Elevators for decades, but it does not include repair.

Upon acceptance of a bid, the contractor has 90 days to repair the piston.

Another elevator in the courthouse is operable.

Those with a handicap disability trying to reach courtrooms or offices – such as for District Attorney Scott Andreassi or Chief Probation Officer Regina Himes – are asked to inquire with Sheriff Bill Rupert or the sheriff deputy upon passage through the front entrance.

County commissioners had also hoped to discuss bidders for an x-ray scanner and walkthrough metal detector, but no bids have yet to be received.

4 Comments

  • By jorn jensen, January 9, 2017 @ 10:37 PM

    Of course this needs tabled for review. Where is the hole – in the piston or in the rod? That is important in deciding the repair. There are outfits that can repair this equipment ‘live’ without all of the fanfare and for a lot less than $50,000. When you deal with an OEM like Otis, you’re going into a money abyss much like Motorola’s 10 year, multi-million dollar radio dusting-off program for the 911 center. It is a fleecing of the taxpayer.

  • By steve, January 10, 2017 @ 8:16 AM

    Jorn, I wonder if you read the article in it’s entirety or skimmed it simply so you could add your comment about the 911 center?

    Mr. Weaver noted that Eastern Elevator Service had a higher bid for the repair (I think it’s safe to assume they’re a service company and not an OEM).

    You make it sound like you’re aware who can repair this at a lower rate. Have you contacted Mr. Carney to pass along this information?

  • By jorn jensen, January 10, 2017 @ 5:43 PM

    steve, Mr. Carney is well capable of getting additional bids, and that is probably what he is doing. Yes, I read the article. People other than elevator people can repair hydraulic cylinders – hydraulic cylinder repair shops can repair hydraulic cylinders. Geez.

  • By steve, January 11, 2017 @ 1:29 PM

    Jensen, You read the article but still went on a tirade about OEM’s when in fact the service company was more expensive.

    You made it sound like you know who can repair the issue and that Mr. Carney wasn’t aware. If you know, please contact him. It could save the taxpayers some money. If you don’t, you were simply complaining. You claim that you use this site to “brainstorm ideas” on how to help the county. Why not take some action and really help?

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