Spokane City Hall will be outfitted with a heating and cooling system.
The City Council voted Monday night to spend $3.6 million, which will be taken from the city’s 2006 budget surplus, for the purchase.
Dorothy Webster, Spokane’s general administration director, told the council that the current system is failing and a new one will save money in the long run because it will be a third more efficient.
Officials with McKinstry, the company chosen to perform the work, said the system installed in 1981 needs extensive changes because it was not built to handle a seven-floor building, especially one with hundreds of computers generating heat.
City Council members Bob Apple and Nancy McLaughlin voted against the proposal, citing concerns about the lack of a bidding process.
“To me, these dollar figures are way out of line,” Apple said.
Last year, the city opted to join a state program to oversee the installation of a new heating system.
Instead of going through a regular bidding process, the state gave the city a list of seven approved companies. After interviewing two companies, Spokane chose McKinstry, a Seattle firm that has a Spokane office.
The city’s deal with the state and McKinstry will guarantee no cost overruns and that the city will save at least $86,000 a year in energy costs.
City Council President Joe Shogan said he was satisfied with the deal, in part because McKinstry and the city will put out for bid items and work needed for installation, which could lower the final cost.
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