Commissioners approve emergency fix for Parkhouse pipes

Parkhouse pipes
LEFT: A holster rotted and broke, leaving a portion of the utility pipe unsupported. RIGHT: Temporary beams support the pipes until new holsters can be installed.

The county commissioners Thursday approved a $25,000 emergency contract to repair utility pipe supports in the basement of Parkhouse Providence Pointe senior care facility.

Some of the holsters holding up the pipes broke on Tuesday, putting pressure on the rest of the pipes and increasing the risk of a utility outage at the nursing home.

"We knew there was an issue, we had planned this as a capital project along with some pneumatic valves being changed out this year – not realizing that some of these would let go" before the project began, said Parkhouse Administrator Melanie McGarry.

"Part of the issue is, there’s electrical lines that run right along these pipes. I always get nervous when there’s water, steam and electricity," McGarry said.

The repairs were alredy underway -- indeed, about a fourth of the way finished -- when the commissioners approved the contract Thursday.  McGarry said crews had immediately come in to stabilize the pipes.

"No one is at risk, there's no safety hazard," said Commissioner Josh Shapiro, adding: "We don't house residents down there."

On a more positive note . . . 

Parkhouse staff were honored at Thursday's commissioners meeting for achieving a perfect score during a Department of Health audit. Inspectors spent four days at the facility, observing medication delivery and staff-resident interactions, conducting interviews and reviewing personnel and discharge files.

The auditors found no deficiences in Parkhouse's operations -- the sixth perfect score in the last 13 years. Shapiro said the state average is 4.7 deficiencies, and the national average is 7.4 deficiencies.

"It is a special community, it has a special culture, and our families tell us that," McGarry said. "It’s wonderful that my staff is recognized for that."