Temperatures Soar in Starke County Jail Equipment Room

Starke County Jail
The beleaguered Starke County Jail has developed more problems recently: I.T. Director Joe Short said the equipment room temperature soared into the sauna range.

“Basically what happened is, the equipment room air conditioner quit working, and it was exceeding 100 degrees in the equipment room. We got McGrath’s out and put the unit in working condition but still its not maintaining anything below 76, 78 degrees. I’d personally like to see it below 70, preferably around 60-65,” said Short.

The problems began after another problem was corrected.

“The rooftop units quit working in the jail for heating, so there was no heat going into the equipment room. Well, now they have the new rooftop units in there and all the duct-work for heating that building goes through the ceiling above that equipment room. In conjunction with that, and air conditioning was running all summer, now that air conditioner is not able to keep up,” Short said.

So what problems are created when the room temperature goes into the stratosphere?

“When we started cracking that 100-degree mark, all the radio equipment for 911, servers, everything is in there. We’re down to 76, 78 but I’d like to see it get a little bit better than that,” said Short.

The plan now is to move another air conditioner to the room to give more capacity for lowering the temperature into the 60-65 degree range. But Short concedes if the main air conditioner dies “we’re in trouble.”

Commissioner Kathy Norem said, “If it dies that would be an emergency, and we would have to address it then.”