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Preston Commission to buy HVAC tools

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Commission approved the purchase of essential HVAC tools at its most-recent regular meeting.

Facility manager Joe LaRue told The Dominion Post the tools will cost about $3,900 and are needed to monitor and repair basically every HVAC system the county has. The beauty of it, he said, is the tools will work on the big chiller in the courthouse or the small residential-type system used in the animal shelter.

“I think that, you know, tools are a valuable asset (when) you have somebody who knows how to use them and we do,” Commissioner Dave Price said. 

LaRue is certified to work on HVAC systems. An HVAC technician costs about $100 an hour, LaRue said. With his certifications and experience, he will be able to monitor and repair systems in the county. 

County Administrator Kathy Mace has been incredibly helpful making time to answer questions showing him how to do his first budget revision to purchase the tools, LaRue said.

LaRue also updated the commission on the rest of his first week on the job, which he said was very busy. It included touring buildings, doing human resources stuff and starting to plan multiple projects.

One project will involve renting a mini excavator to use at the animal shelter. In an email to commissioners, LaRue said he would use the excavator to crush the old cement septic tanks after making sure they can’t hold water anymore. It could also be used to dig a trench on the entrance-side of the building to transport water from the downspouts, so it no longer runs across the driveway.

The first week also involves issues at the 911 center, annex building and McGrew House.

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