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Commissioners OK more funds for ventilation work

| Thursday, May 10, 2012, 5:39 a.m.

North Huntingdon Township will spend an extra $4,715 to fix ventilation problems in the police department that date to the original heating and cooling system installed in the Town House more than 30 years ago.

The custom-designed British system called for venting lead residue from the police department's shooting range into the rest of the building, police Chief Charles Henaghan said.

It also made no provisions for venting the evidence room, where odors from modern-day contraband build up.

But those aren't the only oddities of the system, Henaghan said. Workers removing the ducts from the old system as part of a $460,000 replacement project found the insulation was inside the ductwork, he said.

Township commissioners last night approved the change order to vent the shooting range and the evidence room. Over the years, the township had jerry-rigged a ventilation system to remove the lead and contraband odors.

Work on the ductwork of the new system is complete and the installation of air handlers has begun, township engineer Jeff Bradshaw said. The project is expected to be completed by mid-October.

In other business, the commissioners agreed to keep open a public hearing on the planned demolition of a home where dozens of cats were confiscated earlier this summer.

Humane officers found nearly 100 cats at the Joan Drive home of Jean Urquhart, 71, in July. Many were dead. The stench was so intense, the officers could stay inside only for 15-minute intervals.

Cat feces in the house was 4 to 5 inches deep, the agents said.

The homeowner hopes to secure a contract to replace the walls and floorboards in the home that were ruined by the felines. The commissioners agreed to give her the opportunity to repair the house.

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