To the Advertiser-Gleam:
$380,000 - That got my attention! I read with great interest and re-read your recent article about the County Commissioner’s proposed handling of their toilet/sink problem in the county jail.
“Unit Price” spooked me at first so I called on my good friend, Google, to check prices for “Prison Units” as pictured. I found some for $500-700, S.S. 304, delivered in 30 days from Alibaba, a Chinese Amazon. Also found several American companies with prices around $2,000-$2,600, deliveries not specified but phone numbers listed. I don’t choose Chinese but that could leave better than $5,000 to spare in the county's “Unit Price.”
The “bit of good news” made me feel better until I read where it came from. Any one of you at home with a 1.6 GPF (gallons per flush) commode happy with it? Usually takes two or three flushes to finish the job, even for my young teenage daughter.
I’m sure the trap size for “new” units is very similar. The water volume is controlled by how much is in the tank and what the flush valve supplies. I agree that “brazing” the holes is a waste of time; however, a certified welder can “lay in” some new stainless and the welds are stronger than the original material. Guntersville Sheet Metal can supply stainless steel in whatever form might be needed.
By the way, stainless steel doesn’t necessarily rust on its own, but corrodes due to a galvanic reaction to a dissimilar metal. Thirty years as an orthopedic rep saw this happen occasionally. The patient would have a dull or sharp ache at their implant site; re-open and find stainless implants corroded next to a more noble metal. Stainless commodes screwed/bottled to cast iron or whatever could cause the same but on a much stronger scale.
$380,000 – We’ve got better than $5,000 left after a $2,500 unit purchase equals $240,000. See where I’m going?
There has to be some prisoners in there that would gladly volunteer to do some of the manual labor to remove, clean, refurbish and reinstall some of their units; free labor for a possible reduced sentence.
$380,000 – Have we checked other suppliers for price and availability? Does the County Engineer need to change the design specs using more SS bolts, brackets, PVC insulators, etc?
$380,000 – Public servants do have our best interests at heart, even if it does cost us more money. After all, “Let’s do it right.” Ole Thomas Crapper is wiggling in his grave at the thought of all this!
$380,000 – That’s closer to half million dollars than what I’ve got in my wallet, but we’re spending $8 million on the jail so another $380,000 is well spent? If you say it fast, it doesn’t sound too bad.
Could we see a cost breakdown of what’s in this $7,920 “Unit Price,” please?
$380,000 – Think about it!
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