Carmel plans to file lawsuit over repair costs to energy center

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Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the City of Carmel is considering filing a lawsuit to help pay for repairs and costs for the city’s energy center.

The energy center provides heating and cooling for several buildings, including City Hall and The Palladium. Brainard said it is more energy efficient than having units at each building and allows for better acoustics at the concert hall.

Recently, Steve Engelking, director of administration for the city, approached the Carmel City Council to ask for $325,000 to help pay for repairs and costs for the energy center. He said it’s difficult to replace certain equipment and make repairs. He said much of this is unanticipated because equipment broke down.

Brainard said the ongoing repairs are due to an error when designing the energy center. As a result, the city is considering a lawsuit against the designer to recoup the costs but no specific details have been released. He said the designer didn’t know there would be buildings around it, so it isn’t cooling as efficiently. The city had to rent special coolers during the summer to make it work in the warmer months.

“That’s just a mistake,” he said. “Those plans were in all of the newspapers, and they were publicized for years before it was built. So that’s an engineering mistake, and it shouldn’t be on the taxpayers to bear the brunt of the mistake.”

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