BENTON COUNTY, Ark.(KNWA/KFTA)– Benton County is looking to make improvements to the Benton County jail’s air quality.
The Benton County Finance Committee held a meeting Tuesday looking for ways to distribute American Rescue funds.
One option was to invest more money into improving the Benton County Jail’s heating and air conditioning systems.
“Part of the I think desire to address some of this is the fact that a lot of the components were 15, 20, and 25 years old,” Bo Reynolds said.
Bo Reynolds is with the company Trane Technologies which works on heating and air conditioning and they performed a study on the jail’s air quality.
“There was pockets of the jail including pods that really were not getting the right ventilation and having hot and cold calls and more importantly when we put in some monitors in there had elevated CO2 levels beyond what Ashtray recommends,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds also pointed out multiple issues with the boilers, heat exchange failures, outdated variable air volume boxes, and exhaust fans that are not properly working.
“You’ve got 12 main exhaust fans in the pods that are tied to life safety system and smoke control as well as tear gas we’re not confident those are working properly,” Reynolds said.
One Benton County Justice of the Peace asked during last Tuesday’s meeting why these issues weren’t presented sooner.
“Why is this coming back up? Was this not in the estimate and was it not in the initial review,” said Justice of the Peace.
“We didn’t convey the importance and then we didn’t realize the complexity of some of this until we were able to really dig into that so it was I think it was a couple of different issues there,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds says all together fixing these issues within the Benton County Jail would roughly cost $885,000, with the county only having 2 million dollars remaining in ARPA funds.
The committee voted to approve these improvements with a unanimous vote at its Tuesday meeting.
The full Benton County Qurorum Court will have to give final approval for using the funds for improving the jail’s air conditioning and heating.