Camas officials tackle repair and maintenance delays at city’s aging facilities


CAMAS – Faced with aging facilities that may require some maintenance in the near future, Camas city officials agreed to hire a Seattle firm to provide a detailed facility assessment of 10 urban structures totaling 162,424 square feet.

“The city’s existing buildings are aging and unfortunately the city has systematically postponed maintenance and capital improvements over the years,” Camas’s public works operations supervisor Denis Ryan told council members. Municipal de Camas and Mayor Ellen Burton in early September. “This has led to non-functioning systems and costly repairs that are expected to continue unless the city takes steps to move forward.”

Ryan cited Camas Town Hall’s HVAC system as an example of deferred maintenance that resulted in more expensive repairs for the town.

“Four separate HVAC condenser units – three in the financial sector – need to be replaced,” Ryan said. “The units are decades past their useful life, as is the rest of the town hall system. Of these four (condensing units), staff discovered that two of them had been deliberately turned off about 10 years ago because they were not working and the other two, unfortunately, leaked onto the desks of the finances, records, etc.

Ryan has estimated that it will now cost the city $ 40,000 to replace the units.

“We expect this to continue with other units as they reach the end of their lifecycle,” Ryan said.

The city sent out a request for proposals in May to find an outside company capable of evaluating facilities, including plumbing, electrical, HVAC and other complicated building systems. The city received 13 submissions and found the best deal to be $ 115,166 from Seattle-based Meng Analysis.

The city council approved the contract with Meng Analysis on September 20.

At the September 7 council workshop, City Councilor Steve Hogan said he hoped the facility assessment would help city staff develop a capital improvement plan that identified maintenance projects. required in each of the city’s main facilities.

“(Then we can) continue to eliminate these projects as we go,” Hogan said. “But on a parallel track here, so we don’t stop fixing things when they break. … Ideally, we would keep future long term improvements in mind as we make these short term emergency repairs.

Camas Public Works Director Steve Wall agreed and said city staff hoped to develop a plan for city facilities similar to the Camas Causeway Preservation Project, which takes care of maintenance. preventative to avoid bigger, more destructive – and much more costly – problems in the future.

“We will perform preventive maintenance and hopefully extend the useful life of a building or facility – and prevent these major failures, where the cost will be significantly higher to resolve these major failures,” said declared Wall.

City Councilor Don Chaney said he had been there “for a long, long time” and was disheartened but not surprised to learn that Town Hall’s two HVAC units had been closed for 10 years.

“It’s not uncommon here. No apologies, ”Chaney said. “I hope that we will have a baseline for our facilities (needs) and… that we will be more proactive. “

When asked to explain why the city would need to hire an outside company for the facility assessment, Ryan said the municipal staff at Camas “are very good at what they do, but there is has so many intricate parts of these buildings and complexities of HVAC, plumbing, electrical… we just don’t have the skills.

The city has included $ 100,000 in its 2021-2022 budget for the facility assessment, so city council will need to approve the additional $ 15,166 in the fall budget omnibus.

Ryan said the additional costs resulted from including the buildings located at the city’s wastewater treatment plant in the overall facility assessment.

“With the inclusion of these buildings, the sewer service will be used to support some of the additional funds,” Ryan said in the staff report he sent to city council for the Sept. 7 workshop.

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