SIOUX CITY | Two Woodbury County-owned buildings need work on steam traps. A third county building requires a new boiler.

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday continued steps toward addressing repair needs in the Woodbury County Courthouse, the Trosper Hoyt Building and the Siouxland District Health Department facility, all of which are on the north side of downtown.

Since the time that Kenny Schmitz became director of the county Building Services Department in 2015, he has pointed out how non-functioning steam traps hurt the ability to control space temperatures in buildings. That can result in higher energy costs.

A year ago, the supervisors pinpointed planned work in the courthouse of $537,000 for steam traps. On Tuesday, they held a public hearing on the courthouse stream traps replacement project. No one spoke on the topic, and the supervisors moved to receive bids from interested contractors in the next few weeks.

"Now is probably a good time to do this," Supervisor Mark Monson said.

A steam trap is a device that holds steam until it converts into liquid before traveling back to be reheated. The traps are most commonly used in the outlet side of radiators and air handling units.

Three hundred traps were found in the courthouse and a large number of them have not been serviced in 20 years.

Steam trap improvements will also be undertaken at the Trosper Hoyt Building, at 822 Douglas St. The process isn't as advanced as the steam trap project in the courthouse. The supervisors approved an agreement to hire the Resource Consulting Engineers group, of Ames, Iowa, for $7,500 to make drawings summarizing where the traps are located and a schedule for new ones to be installed.

Resource Consulting Engineers has also worked on the courthouse steam traps project.

Additionally, the supervisors heard about the need for a new boiler unit in the heating system of the Siouxland District Health Department.

"They are kind of limping along on two boilers," Schmitz said.

The supervisors approved a motion to seek bids for the boiler replacement to improve heating circulation in the building at 1014 Nebraska St.

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County and education reporter

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