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City replaces municipal furnace

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The Hudson City Council on April 5 approved replacement of the Municipal Building's boiler furnace at a cost of $61,085.

The base bid from Johnson Controls Inc. on replacing the furnace was $45,155, but the council accepted Public Works Director Jim Eulberg's recommendation to spend another $15,930 for high-efficiency boilers. Eulberg said the boilers would pay for themselves in energy savings over a three-year period.

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Honeywell Inc. also responded to the city's invitation for bids on replacing the furnace. Its price was $83,663.

The City Council delayed approval of the Johnson Controls bid at its March 20 meeting because Eulberg wanted time to make sure the furnace it was offering met the city's specification. He reported to the council last week that it did.

The Municipal Building, 911 Fourth St., houses the Hudson Area Joint Library, the municipal court, the city's cable television studio and the offices of several nonprofit agencies.

Asked after the April 5 council meeting about the status of the Municipal Building's elevator, Eulberg said a new one has been installed and will be put into operation as soon as a state inspector gives the OK.

The building has been without an elevator for more than a year. The old elevator was taken out of operation because of mechanical problems that included stopping above or below floor levels when carrying people.

Eulberg said a new elevator car had to be custom built at a cost of around $80,000. It took time to find a company that would take on the job, and the doors on the elevator that finally arrived opened in the wrong direction.

It then took another couple of months to have the new doors made and installed.

Public Safety Building

The council also approved the replacement of the heating and air conditioning system for the fire department's office, training room and restrooms in the Public Safety Building, 222 Walnut St.

Council members accepted a bid from Freier's Electric and Heating, Ellsworth, to install the new system for $10,775. That price includes $1,525 for a variable-speed fan that will come with the system.

Freier's bid was the lowest of four companies that submitted proposals that met the fire department's specifications, Fire Chief Jim Frye reported. GHC Homes Services of North St. Paul, Minn., submitted a bid of $8,975, but the furnace it would have installed couldn't provide the BTUs of heat required by the fire department.

In a memo to council members, Frye said the Public Safety Building currently has two furnaces and two air conditioning units that are 30 years old and chronically in need of repair. One of the air conditioning units doesn't work at all, he said.

The city will receive $700 in rebates for purchasing a high-efficiency system to replace the old units, Frye said.

Other business

In other action at its April 5 meeting, the council:

  • Approved a new wage scale for most of the city's seasonal workers. The pay starts at $10 an hour for a first-year employee. It increases 50 cents for each year of experience to a high of $12 an hour for a worker in his or her fifth year of employment with the city. The pay scale doesn't apply to lifeguards or the workers who maintain the flower gardens on city property.
  • Approved St. Patrick School's request to barricade Fourth Street in front of the school for a June 2 block party.
  • Approved the placement of pedestrian crossing signs on Bittersweet Drive next to the Hudson Health Campus.

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    Randy Hanson
    Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
    (715) 426-1066
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