Tourists who stop by the Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez this summer will find refuge from the heat.
The City Council on Tuesday awarded a $140,000 bid to Comfort Air to install a new heating, ventilation and cooling system at the Colorado Welcome Center and an IT equipment cooling system at the city service center.
Cortez operates the Colorado Welcome Center – one of 10 throughout the state – as part of the city’s general fund, but the city receives funding the Colorado Tourism Office.
While the HVAC system at the Colorado Welcome Center is the most visible of the two projects, City Manager John Dougherty said the service center project would protect vital IT equipment.
“We pretty much have to, or else we will lose our computer systems,” Dougherty said.
General Services Director Rick Smith said both projects require installation early spring to beat the summer heat. He said the current cooling system can’t keep up, and the IT room has reached critical temperatures in the past.
Smith said both projects were included in a single bid to save money on contract management and to secure better pricing.
Cortez received three bids, from Comfort Air, Garrhs and Farmington Heat and Metal. Comfort Air was the low bidder at $92,000 for the service center upgrade and $48,000 for the Welcome Center.
The combined total of $140,000 is over the $115,000 budgeted for both projects in 2019. Dougherty said the city can’t change the budget now but will come back in July to adjust the appropriation.