Jefferson County Sheriff’s annex a lightning rod
by Dennis Sharkey
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department Annex building has been a lightning rod in the last year. Literally.
Jefferson County Commissioners briefly met last Tuesday to discuss how to keep the building from being struck by lightning.
In the past year the building has been struck at least two times with each incident knocking out some communications. A lightning strike last year temporarily knocked out communications at the dispatch center as well.
According to the unofficial minutes of last week’s meeting Auxiliary Services Director Mark Richards said the county’s liability insurance carrier ordered a study of the buildings tower after the last strike.
Richards said that the insurance company’s electrical engineers have developed a plan to fix the problem.
First District Commissioner Lynn Luck told the Independent that when the building and tower were constructed everything met building specification requirements at the time. However the study showed that some upgrades need to be made to the tower such as a larger grounding cable and the installation of other components.
Cost for fixing the problem could exceed $10,000 according to Luck.
“You just can’t have this happen,” Luck said.
There are still other issues with the plan such as other utilities being located near the tower. Luck said commissioners also asked Richards to investigate the costs of moving the tower away from the building. Luck said the insurance company also needs to give final approval on a remedy.
On Monday Richards said he is still waiting on cost figures for moving the tower.
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