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Indianola Authorities Discuss Improving Air-Conditioning System in County Jail

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INDIANOLA, Miss.–The Sunflower County Jail is housing inmates with a rickety, rusty, 30-year-old air conditioning system that is failing and works only part-time. That could be a liability for the county and the Board of Supervisors is trying to decide on a long-term fix.

“Under federal standards those inmates have got to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer,” said Supervisor Glen Donald at Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. “If they don’t somebody can file a charge. Somebody could catch a heat stroke out there.”
The county’s maintenance supervisor explained that not only was the system poorly designed, with insufficient drainage causing rust throughout the system, but the delivery system is also faulty, causing problems in the winter as well as the summer. The detainees are suffering through 100 plus-degree days without air on some days.
“They come patch it. It wouls for about two or three days. Then, we’re in the same…They’re at their wits end out there, I’ll be honest with you,” explained Sheriff Jame Haywood.
Some supes wanted to go ahead and make moves to have the entire system overhauled, with a preliminary quote at around one million dollars. But, the county attorney said because the item is over $75,000 that just getting quotes wouldn’t be sufficient. The county would have to advertise for about a month and then accept bids for the work, which would require a system design first.
The board agreed to a $5,000 patch job that would keep the system running for now.