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Decatur council
OKs AC for jail

By Evan Belanger

With outside temperatures rising past 100 more often than not this month, jailers and inmates at the Decatur city jail are looking forward to the arrival of a new air-conditioning unit.

The Decatur City Council on Monday approved $39,802 in emergency funding to replace a large air-conditioning unit mounted on the jails roof.

Its still working, but the thing is over 15 years old, said Mayor Don Kyle. Its limping along on borrowed parts as it is.

The aging cooling unit is designed to run with two compressors, so one can rest while the other works, Kyle said. As of Tuesday, only one compressor was functional.

Kyle said he didnt think it would last much longer, given the current heat wave, and replacement parts are not available.

I dont believe we would be in violation if it fails, he said. But it wont be very comfortable in there.

Kyle said he hopes the new unit will arrive by Friday. A crane to lift it onto the building and heating and cooling experts will be brought in as soon as it arrives, he said.

Police Chief Ken Collier said the jail has needed the replacement for some time.

Were still not out of the woods with this heat, he said. Im sure the staff and the inmates will be tickled to death when it gets here.

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