January 18, 2012 —
The opening of the Pike County Emergency Service Training Facility will probably be delayed for four or more weeks due to two pieces of equipment that have yet to be received from a manufacturer in the nation of Jordan in the Middle East.
The two units, called air handlers, are an essential part of the geo-thermal HVAC heating and cooling system in the new facility.
“We adopted this system because we felt that it was the best for the environment and for conserving energy,” said Richard Caridi, chairman of the Pike County Commissioners. Caridi addressed the public and the press at the weekly meeting of the commissioners on January 11.
“The reason for the delay is a lack of communication between a subcontractor and the manufacturer in Jordan,” said county attorney Tom Farley.
“All other parts of the system are made in America, but for some reason that I don’t understand, the parts had to be assembled in Jordan,” Caridi said. “It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me with so many Americans out of work that this couldn’t be done totally here.”
A big concern is that the delay may lead to litigation, which will only delay the opening further, Caridi said. “No matter what happens, the county is protected financially if there is a backlog from other subcontractors,” he said. “What we need is harmony to get this facility done.”
Caridi said that he was hoping for a soft opening in March when personnel could move in to prepare for a true opening.
“Without these pieces of equipment we will not be able to get a Certificate of Occupancy that is needed to get our people in there,” he said.
The commissioners announced that a survey of the needs of senior and handicapped populations in the county will be conducted by the Area Agency on Aging.
“We conduct this survey every four years so as to learn what the needs of these populations are so that we can plan our programs accordingly,” said Robin LaDolce, director of the agency.
The survey will be filled out by agencies and individuals that serve the senior and handicapped population, she said. Interns from Marywood University will work with the agency in the task of tabulating the results.
“The county leads other counties in the state with a high percent of the 85-plus age category,” she said.
Funding has come from the state’s lottery system but is not as high as in the past owing to a decrease in lottery activity, she said.
She expects to receive 1,000 to 1,500 responses to the survey.