The city is hustling to replace massive heat-producing boilers before the chill of winter sets in.
City councilors unanimously approved a contract Wednesday with East Hartford’s H.H.S. Mechanical Contractors for $147,000 to get the work done as quickly as possible.
Public works officials have been scrambling to deal with the two old boilers since one of them blew up in March, spewing asbestos throughout the basement furnace room and into the air ducts.
City Hall was shut down for a couple of days – on a weekend – so massive fans could blow any contamination out of the building. Specialized contractors cleaned up the sealed-off furnace room.
Mayor Art Ward said the last piece of the puzzle is to get the new boilers in place.
“It’ll be done before winter,” Ward said, because the timing is worked out.
City Councilor Kevin McCauley said that if something does go wrong, the city has a backup plan to heat the building.
A temporary heating system can be used, said McCauley, who heads the city’s Building Committee.
The boilers have been in the building since its construction almost half a century ago.
The new ones should cut energy costs sharply, officials said, because of the greater efficiency of boilers made today. They will also use natural gas instead of heating oil, officials said.
A consultant recommended two years ago that the city replace the steam-driven boilers with ones that use warm water instead. But the cost and difficulty of removing the boilers put the project on the back burner.
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