A cooler Alexandria City Hall; council calls for quotes to replace air handling units

One of the two compressors for the unit that takes care of the office and lobby area of City Hall broke down this summer. It’s 26 years old.

Alexandria City Hall may receive new air handling units. The existing compressors, which are 26 years old, are having a hard time keeping up in warm weather. (File photo)

At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council voted to call for quotes to replace both of the rooftop air handling units at City Hall with new and more energy efficient units.

They would be installed before the 2022 cooling season.

The cost of replacing both units is estimated at $50,000.

One of the two compressors for the unit that takes care of the office and lobby area of City Hall broke down this summer. It’s 26 years old.

The other compressor is working but on very warm days it’s unable to keep up and the temperatures in City Hall have been warm, according to staff.


Another air handling unit that takes care of the council chambers, conference room, break room, mayor’s office and the IT room, is still working but it’s very similar in style to the unit that broke down.

Staff looked into the possibility of replacing the two units with one unit but that can’t be done because the units operate independently from each other.

Staff will return to the council this fall or winter to report on the quotes and to authorize the purchase of new air handling units.

The following is a collection of other items from the July 12 meeting not covered in other council stories.

Utility Committee items

City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven gave the council an update from the city’s Utility Committee:

  • Overview of the 18th Avenue project. Members discussed the limits of the project and potential phasing. There will be coordination between ALP Utilities, Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District and the city. Cost splits were discussed. Common items such as mobilization, traffic control, erosion control and turf establishment will be prorated between all three entities.

  • Hawthorne Street, 17th to 18th Avenues. The project will be bid separately from 18th Avenue but with coordinated construction timing. The committee discussed Cenex service replacements, easements and abandonment of the existing mains.

  • Nokomis water main extension. ALP Utilities has initiated a project to connect the two dead-end water lines on Nokomis between 18th and 22nd avenues. The project will be coordinated with the Nokomis paving project. The city may decide to bid this project together with the Hawthorne Street project.

  • Ninth Avenue. The committee discussed water and sanitary sewer issues along Ninth Avenue between Maple Street and Nokomis Street.

Easement released on Iowa Street

The council gave final approval to vacate an easement on a portion of Iowa Street that was requested by Douglas Machine.

The city vacated the street portion back in 1986. It’s located in the Alexandria Industrial Park between what was once Highway 27 and 36th Avenue.

Since there were existing public water and sewer lines located within the street, the vacating ordinance from 1986 retained a public utility easement over, under and through the portion.


In 2019, Douglas Machine built an addition that connected its plating building with its main office, and the public utility lines were relocated. Releasing the easement will clear the title to that land.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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