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COURTHOUSE Water leak damages office, domestic court



Published: Wed, January 26, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Several ceiling tiles will have to be replaced.

YOUNGSTOWN -- It will be another few days before Mahoning County officials can get the exact amount of damage caused by faulty heating coils that sent water spewing through two offices.

Rich Malagisi, director of the county's facilities management department, said the coils in the ceiling of the auditor's office burst between 3 and 3:30 p.m. Monday, sending water throughout a rear section of the office.

The leak also made its way to a section of the domestic relations court operations in the courthouse basement, which is below the auditor's office.

Malagisi said the coils, actually old copper tubing, most likely failed because of age.

The lines run through the ceilings "and there will be a lot of ceiling tiles to replace," Malagisi said.

In addition to the ceiling tiles, damage also was done to carpeting and furniture in both offices and some computers also may have been affected. The county's data processing department will check on the affected computers. Some auditor's office files also were soaked.

Contract company

The county contracts with Johnson Controls for heating and some air-conditioning work as well as working on employees' access cards, and Malagisi said a Johnson Control technician was in the courthouse working on card access codes when the water problem was reported, and the technician and another county maintenance person got the leak stopped.

Cathy Jones, county risk manager, said she will have to evaluate the damage and meet with the insurance company to determine what is covered and what needs to be replaced.

Commissioner Anthony Traficanti said arrangements were made Tuesday to move the affected domestic relations operations to the fourth floor.

Judge Beth A. Smith of Domestic Relations Court said the court is on the fourth floor and has its hearings there, but the domestic relations division also has two magistrates, its reception area, and its family services section in the basement. Domestic violence cases are also heard in the basement

Traficanti said the county has a $5,000 deductible insurance policy. Many ceiling tiles will have to be replaced, but most are 18 to 20 years old.




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