Southern Fulton Looking Forward To Energy Savings
Looking toward the future, the Southern Fulton School Board and its administration took time last Tuesday to talk about finances, real estate taxes and how they relate to a proposed renovation project at the junior/senior high school.
Superintendent Hervey Hann informed those on hand that the proposed renovation is covered through the PlanCon process outlined by the state. As a result, the district will definitely receive reimbursement, but it is unknown how PlanCon will affect the elementary in the future.
Hann went on to remind everyone the Reynold’s energy savings agreement up for vote that night includes a guaranteed savings in certain areas. The company will cut a check for any savings not met.
Annual resource savings totalling $80,000 to $90,000 and specifically cited by the superintendent included HVAC improvements, controls systems improvements, high school lighting and water conservation that may be tackled in-house.
Hann stated if the school board raises the real estate taxes to the index the next four years, they will have the money necessary to pay the bond issue in connection with the project. In speaking with the “News,” Hann said a millage increase of .56 annually for the next four years would generate an additional $82,000 in revenue each year. Four consecutive increases would raise school taxes by 2.2 mills.
Board member Patrick Bard voiced his concerns over approving a project now that may not get the necessary support or approval of future board members through the increase of taxes to the Act 1 index.
“Do you need something done at the high school? You definitely do,” said Hann, who referenced asbestos under the carpeting and holes under the windows.
Board member Tim Mellott reminded fellow members that voters would not endorse a tax increase through a referendum question on the ballot and that the school district can’t pass its budget until the state passes its budget. “Raising the index is the only option. You guys think about that hard,” Mellott said.
Allen Morton, board president, told the board, “If you don’t want to raise taxes to the index, then don’t vote for this project.”
Several board members did just that when the matter of approving an energy savings agreement with Reynolds came up later in the evening. Board members Danny Crouse and Sam Souders voted against penning the agreement with Reynolds as well as PlanCon D and E documents to be submitted to the state.
According to the agreement with Reynolds, Behavior Modification and Low Cost/No Cost programs will be implemented at the junior/senior high school with the goal being “to provide energy saving opportunities that increase energy education while at the same time reduce the environmental impact and cost to the district.”
The scope of work outlines improvements to the lighting system; HVAC improvements-provide complete installation of natural gas service to the boilers and replace air handling units; improve control systems; and replace plumbing fixtures to improve water conservation.
Documentation listed in Plan- Con Part D estimates the total project cost at $3,267,308, while the estimated maximum reimbursable project amount is $2,619,447. The proposed bid-opening date in conjunction with the project is May 2013, and overall completion is slated for January 2014.