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Breakdowns, glitches plague Jackson court
Asbury Park Press 3/07/00 By ANDREW GANNONTOMS RIVER BUREAU
JACKSON -- The municipal justice complex was evacuated one Saturday night last month after its ventilation system sucked in smoke from the chimneys of the surrounding homes.
Two weeks ago, a police radio room dispatcher who has asthma was overcome by heat and taken to the hospital after the heating system malfunctioned.
And on Feb. 25, during the opening day of the Municipal Court hearing for tiger preserve owner Joan Byron-Marasek, fire alarms mistakenly went off throughout the complex as fire inspectors tested a faulty water sprinkler pump.
The $6.2 million justice complex has been plagued with one problem after another since its completion in July 1998, Township Committeeman Joseph Grisanti said yesterday.
"I call it the lemon of buildings," Grisanti said. "It's just a multitude of problems."
The Township Committee took its first step toward correcting the problems last week, Mayor Geoffrey B. Yalden said, when it authorized Township Attorney Steven Zabarsky to determine whether the builders of the 35,000-square-foot complex are legally responsible to make repairs.
"We want to exhaust those possibilities before we expend anymore money," Yalden said.
The 35,000-square-foot brick building at West Veterans Highway and Jackson Drive houses the police department and detention facility, the 90-seat municipal courtroom and the code enforcement, emergency management and animal control offices.
Grisanti said township employees have complained about the building from the start, primarily about the building's heating and air-conditioning system. They say it is either too hot or too cold, and the system produces too much noise.
"There are certain rooms where it's hard to hear yourself talk," said Grisanti, adding that "even the telephone system is substandard."
Samuel DePasquale, director of public safety, said the original plans called for dedicated telephone lines between the justice complex and the township municipal building, but they were never installed.
In addition, he said, the telephones in the building have never worked properly.
"I've got voice mail but I can't tell if I have a message or not," he said.
DePasquale said there were other problems concerning security issues, but he declined to discuss them.
John Sodl, township construction code official, said yesterday that the justice complex opened in 1998 with a temporary certificate of occupancy that has since been renewed to give township inspectors more time to correct the list of problems.
But Sodl insisted that none of the repairs to be made are "life-threatening," or he would not have approved the renewal.
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-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), March 19, 2000
Holy Typos!!!! Title should be spelled 'breakdowns'. Sorry 'bout that...cat walking on keyboard. LOL
-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), March 19, 2000.