By Lena Mitchell
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH – A group of contractors who worked on construction of the Alcorn County Regional Justice Center met Tuesday with county officials to find solutions to problems that have plagued the jail due to a high failure rate on tankless water heaters throughout the facility.
Currently 17 of 55 units installed at the justice center are not functioning at all or are functioning at less than capacity, a problem that has persisted since the facility opened almost two years ago.
Consulting engineer Ted Beaullieu of Lafayette, La., led the meeting that included representatives from equipment manufacturer Rinnai, installer Jesco Inc., construction contractor Flintco Inc. and Michael LeBlanc Architects.
County representatives included Board of Supervisors President Lowell Hinton, District 3 Supervisor Tim Mitchell, Chancery Clerk Bobby Marolt, Warden Doug Mullins, Sheriff Charles Rinehart and Mike Johnson, supervisor of justice center maintenance.
Beaullieu said the manufacturing company and all others involved are willing to work diligently to find the source of the problem and reach a long-term resolution. The company is standing behind its five-year warranty on the devices, he said, and will replace them as needed.
“We’ve got facilities (other institutions that use this same equipment) that are working fine, and some that are having some problems, but a long-term fix is our goal,” Beaullieu said.
Corinth Gas & Water General Manager John Rhodes and a member of his team attended briefly when it was mentioned that the water could be a source of problems. However, Beaullieu quickly stated that Corinth’s water met all standards the water heater requires.
The review includes examining installation, operation, maintenance and other factors to identify the source of the problem, and both supervisors said resolving the issues should come at no cost to the county.
Beaullieu agreed that he would do all possible to assure the county suffered no financial burden, but also said the county must adhere to a preventive maintenance schedule to keep the equipment functioning at optimum capacity.
After a thorough evaluation is completed, another meeting will be scheduled to provide the county board with results of the review, as well as a schedule of maintenance recommendations and projected future costs.