AUBURN — Add air quality to the list of reasons not to get sent to the Androscoggin County jail.

One of two cooling compressors on the roof of the three-story county jail in Auburn broke down two weeks ago, leading to a humid, stagnant, rancid atmosphere inside that the administrator describes as “skunky.”

Jail officials have closed nonessential rooms and lightened the guards’ dress code. Even so, guards often go home drenched.

Officials tell the Sun Journal things may get worse before they improve.

Though repairs are planned, a new compressor will likely take at least two weeks to arrive and get installed.

The state Board of Corrections has cleared the jail to make the needed $100,000 fix, which includes shipping the part from Dayton, Ohio.

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