SHELDON—The members of the Sheldon Public Library Board of Trustees kept the discussion surrounding a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system from boiling over during its three meetings concerning the issue.
The board members remained cool under pressure during three meetings even though it was a tough decision and ultimately chose Fred’s Plumbing & Heating of Hospers to provide and install its new HVAC unit.
The trustees came to the decision during a special meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 4.
The library is in need of a new furnace since the original was installed in 1969.
During the Sheldon City Council budget workshop, the library requested $65,000 from its reserved savings account and money market to pay for a new HVAC unit.
Library director Nicole Weber lined up two presentations, the first from SP Heating & Cooling of Sheldon and the second from Fred’s Plumbing & Heating.
Any unit either company had to present had to match the boiler system the library currently uses.
SP Heating & Cooling general manager Aaron Alons presented to the board of trustees in June and the total cost of materials and labor for the HVAC would cost $55,500. Additional HVAC materials for the library’s activity room would cost $4,800.
The SP Heating & Cooling HVAC system would consist of a York condenser 15-ton commercial air conditioner, a York 15-ton air handler with hot water coil and economizer and a two Navien 300 BTU 95 percent efficient gas boilers.
Fred’s Plumbing & Heating presented to the board during a special meeting on Aug. 4 with owner Mark Falkena delivering the specifics of the HVAC unit.
The main different between the two HVAC systems is Fred’s Plumbing & Heating unit will use three Navien 200 BTU high efficiency boilers instead of two 300 BTU boilers.
“All of these boilers connect to each other. They are communicating with each other,” Falkena said. “In the event one of them fails, two will handle the building yet without a problem. If we went to just a two boiler system, if one failed, on a really cold day, we probably wouldn’t keep up. That’s part of the benefits from going to the three boiler system.”
Another key difference was the cost for the HVAC unit from Fred’s Plumbing & Heating which would run to $71,200. The library would get a $3,900 rebate from MidAmerican Energy for the boiler, though.
Fred’s Plumbing & Heating also would use Lennox 15-ton units for the air handler and the air conditioner instead of York and would do more duct work in the basement of the library to connect the system. The duct work would be crucial for any future project the library plans for other rooms it uses in the basement.
The board discussed the two options after Falkena left the meeting.
“At $71,200, that was a little higher than what we set aside,” said board president Roger Hibma. “We got to be in the parameters of our budget, too.”
Board vice president Caleb Schreurs asked if “Fred’s was $20,000 better or is it just $20,000 more?”
“He was going to redo duct work downstairs. Cutting holes in walls, that’s not easy work doing that in cinder block,” said board member Mike McCuddin.
McCuddin added the SP Heating & Cooling boilers looked like bigger boilers with it being 300 BTUs.
“But it’s still two versus three right?” Schreurs said. “He was saying with the three boilers, it would be two running at once with the third on standby in case of a failure so we wouldn’t miss a beat. We’ve had a boiler go so it is a benefit.”
McCuddin agreed, saying it is a benefit and the library is a huge area to heat during the winter.
“Large areas are hard to heat and maintain,” McCuddin said. “Having that extra boiler is not necessarily a bad thing.”
Hibma said with the rebate, the library is only about $2,000 off from the $65,000 it had budgeted for the HVAC unit.
“We can find that,” Weber said. “I would think if we need to do something, that’s only $2,000 if we have to do a budget amendment.”
Sheldon city councilman Pete Hamill said he likes the redundancy of the three boilers.
“Seems to me you would end up with a more sophisticated system that will handle the various areas more easily,” Hamill said. “On the other hand there is a difference in price.”
Schreurs noted the board was planning for a bid to be around $65,000.
McCuddin added he likes the look of the system Fred’s Plumbing & Heating put together.
Schreurs made the motion to accept Fred’s Plumbing & Heating proposal and McCuddin seconded. The motion carried without a dissenting vote.
Before Falkena left, Hibma asked if Fred’s Plumbing & Heating was picked, what would the time frame for installing the HVAC unit would be since “winter is coming.”
“Before the dead of winter. I am not saying we are going to get it before that first cold weather,” Falkena said. “I’m thinking September. Our biggest thing is getting equipment right now. It’s 10 to 12 weeks on this equipment. Mid-October on this larger equipment. This smaller equipment is just a few weeks out.”