Things have been heated in the Erath County Courthouse - and it hasn’t been the politics.

It’s been the temperature.

Workers in parts of the building have had to endure sometimes less than favorable conditions because of air conditioning problems.

The current HVAC - “heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling”- system is having a hard time cooling parts of the building, said John Wooley, a county official who addressed county commissioners earlier this week.

“We have to do substantial duct work in the attic,” Wooley said. “Some parts of the building have air. Some parts are being shorted.”

County Judge Tab Thompson said workers have been able to deal with the HVAC problem the past couple of summers, but said the situation got worse recently when one of the air conditioning units went out.

“Our goal is to make sure our people are comfortable in our work environment,” Thompson said. “We got the new unit in, which took care of the immediate discomfort, but we’re going to go ahead and get this other problem corrected.”

Thompson said the “engineering problem” was supposed to have been addressed by an architect during the remodeling of the building, but that never happened.

“It’s not a huge thing,” Thompson said. “It’s just a matter of getting the system balanced with ‘return air.’”

Meanwhile, county officials are anxiously awaiting the improvements.

“The west side of the building would appreciate it,” County Treasurer Donna Kelly said.

“Our office has been kind of warm,” County Auditor James Young told commissioners.

“That is not the word you used,” Wooley joked.

DOUG MYERS is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at or (254) 965-3124, ext. 229.