County Taking Steps To Cool Holding Center

July 22, 2011 Updated Jul 22, 2011 at 10:31 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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County Taking Steps To Cool Holding Center

July 22, 2011 Updated Jul 22, 2011 at 10:31 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( release) – Legislature Chair Barbara Miller-Williams said today that conditions at the Erie County Holding Center were improving after the air conditioning failed on 4 floors on Wednesday.

“I received a number of phone calls yesterday from families of inmates at the Holding Center informing me there was no air conditioning,” Miller-Williams explained. “I immediately began calling officials within the County Administration to see what we could do about the situation. During a dangerous heat wave the priority is to make sure that all staff and inmates at the correctional facility are safe.”

The Chair invited members of the Department of Public Works and the Sheriff's Department to a meeting of the Legislature this morning to explain the steps that were being taken to assure that conditions were improved. They informed the Members that a semi-truck with a portable air conditioning unit was already in route from New Jersey and will arrive tomorrow.

In the meantime the County has ordered extra fans and de-humidifiers that will help circulate the air and lower the internal humidity of the building. They are also providing extra ice and water and monitoring those in the building for any signs of heat exhaustion.

“Because of the nature of a secure building there a few windows. With the extraordinary heat wave we are experiencing our first concern was that no one was overcome by conditions caused by the heat in the building. I have been assured that the County is working as quickly as possible to correct the situation. I will continue to monitor the conditions at the Holding Center with regards to this incident.” Miller-Williams said.