Montcalm County buys exhaust fan for Drain Commission office problem

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 7:56 pm on Friday, March 24, 2017

STANTON — Montcalm County officials have decided to purchase and install an exhaust fan to solve the problem of fumes in the Drain Commission Office.

Last October, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners approved purchasing a new boiler for $45,600 after the old boiler finally broke down. The new boiler was installed in the basement of the county’s maintenance building, just below the Drain Commission Office.

Ever since the new boiler has been installed, Drain Commission employees have been complaining of working amidst gas and chemical fumes. The office was even evacuated once by Consumers Energy.

Commissioners had discussed the possibility of moving the Drain Commission office to another location, but Drain Commission employees were not interested in relocating.

During the March 13 Economic Development & Physical Resources Committee meeting, commissioners voted to purchase an $1,800 exhaust fan to solve the problem. The purchase was seen as an emergency need and thus does not need to be voted on by the full Board of Commissioners.

“We should close it down and get those people moved into another building,” Braman told The Daily News. “They’re (Drain Commission employees) telling us they’ve got a metal taste in their mouth and they don’t know if it’s harming them. We shouldn’t have anyone in that building if that’s the case. Those people are going to get sick, I’m afraid.”

The exhaust fan was scheduled to be installed Thursday, according to Drain Commissioner Sandy Raines.

In Other Matters …

Also on March 13, the Finance & Personnel Committee approved the following recommendations, which will be voted on by the full Board of Commissioners during Monday’s regular meeting:

• Approved the purchase of BS&A financial software at a cost of $138,285, per a recommendation from Treasurer JoAnne Vukin, to be paid for out of surplus or from the foreclosure fund;

• Approved the purchase of a computer server for the court system at a cost of $29,787.60, per a recommendation from IT Director Eric McLaughlin;

• Approved allowing five employees from the Commission on Aging to donate their own sick time to help employee Pam Shock with an ongoing medical condition, and to allow the controller-administrator’s office to work out the details;

• Approved the 2017 staffing control summary and non-bargaining wage scale.

• Also on Monday, Gabridge & Co. is slated to present a county audit to the full Board of Commissioners. Anyone may attend the meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. on the third floor of the Montcalm County Administrative Building in Stanton.

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