2013-10-17 / Front Page

County’s Ribbon- Cutting, Open House Saturday

Geothermal system saving nearly 20 percent
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

The Fulton County commissioners and their staff are making final preparations this week for a much-anticipated open house that will get under way Saturday afternoon with a special ribboncutting at the old jail.

On the heels of the Fulton Fall Folk Festival parade hosted and organized by the Grease, Steam & Rust Association, commissioners Rodney McCray, Craig Cutchall and Irvin Dasher will be convening in front of the sheriff’s office at 1 p.m. to give the public a first glimpse of the newly renovated facility.

During the ribbon-cutting and program opened by Commissioner

McCray, fellow Commissioner Cutchall is set to provide those in attendance with a history of the building as well as the project itself, which could not have come to fruition without financial assistance and guidance from the Fulton County Historical Society and, of course, generous donations from the public and local history buffs.

The program’s agenda will also include a formal recognition by Commissioner Dasher of key participants and acknowledgement of the role they played in the renovation process that has spanned four years.

A minimum of 40 different individuals, organizations and companies reportedly played a part in the restoration of the old jail and the renovation of additional coun- ty owned and maintained facilities. Among those included on the considerably lengthy list to be recognized by the commissioners are local businessman Ron Richards and contractor Randy Bunch for their contributions in keeping a roof over the old jail, former county commissioners Bonnie Mellott Keefer and Dave Hoover and Redland Bricks for its innovative half-bricks that now cover the exterior of the jail and have restored the building to its former glory.

Officials from the Historical Society are being welcomed to provide comments and input during the program, which will conclude with an unveiling of the new county seal and a tour of county facilities. The open house will run through 3 p.m. and will include tours of the courthouse, the old jail and the new office of Magisterial

District Judge Wendy Mellott located directly across from the jail and courthouse along North Second Street.

In addition to interior and exterior changes within the buildings, the county’s ongoing renovation project also took a look at possible energy savings. As a result, Act 45 of 2005 authorized Fulton County to receive $1 million in Growing Greener II funding to be used for capital improvement projects related to the environment and recreation.

Of that total or allocation, $563,200 was used to install a geothermal heating and cooling system that currently serves the courthouse, the sheriff’s office and the Neighborhood Services Center building that holds a variety of departments, including the commissioners, probation and domestic relations and the Area Agency on Aging. Preliminary analysis indicates that the system has generated a nearly 20 percent overall energy savings for the county.

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