City Council hears final proposal for energy upgrades
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA – Trane presented its final proposal to the City Council for money-saving energy upgrades in city buildings at a called work session Tuesday.

During a nearly two-year process, Trane audited the city’s energy consumption and evaluated ways it could be lessened with new HVAC systems, lights and controls.

The company’s final proposal estimates the city will save $64,300 a year, or $2 million over 20 years, considering a 4.5 percent annual utility cost increase, by applying its recommendations. That amount is guaranteed savings, and should there be any shortfalls from the given cost, Trane will write a check for the difference.

The proposed scope of works includes upgrading the Municipal Complex with energy-efficient lighting, HVAC controls and settings, three new air handlers, conversion to a variable air volume system, two high-efficiency boilers, two new hot water and chilled water pumps, new mechanical room piping and valves, rooftop package heat pumps for Fire Station No. 1 and a split heat pump system for the Police Annex. Other improvements include a chiller, boiler and pumps at the J. Craig Smith Center and upgraded lighting and programmable thermostats throughout designated city buildings.

The project costs an estimated $1.2 million and will be paid for using the energy savings, as required by state law for performance contracting. Payments would not begin until the project installation is complete.

HVAC at the Municipal Complex has not been updated, save two chillers that were replaced last year, since it was built in 1972 and requires manual operation by city employees.

The council will discuss the proposal and its next work session and make a decision on whether to move forward. Council President Rocky Lucas said the city “would be crazy not to do it,” considering the outdated equipment will all likely have to be replaced over the next several years anyway.

At a regular council meeting following the work session, the council:

• Heard Mayor Doug Murphree announce a city clean-up meeting for Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at City Hall for all citizens interested in helping organize clean-up days around the city. Murphree also read a proclamation renaming Kiwanis Club Pancake Day to “Sam H. Wright Pancake Day,” in honor of the late mayor who was a longtime Kiwanian. Pancake Day is this Saturday from 7 a.m. till noon at Sylacauga High School.

• Corrected the term of James Clark as Library Board member from a three- to a four-year term ending October 2016.

• Approved a resolution supporting Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen pageant with $2,500 a year for the next five years, along with expenditures of up to $700 for a luncheon for this year only.

• Authorized an amendment to a contract with Ricoh allowing for replacement of one desktop computer and two laptops for the Municipal Court office. The cost difference is $186.73 a month for 36 months to be paid from the Municipal Court Administrative Fund.

• Authorized Municipal Court Clerk Ken Sisk to purchase an enclosed bulletin board from Brannon’s for $529.99 to be paid from the court’s administrative fund.

• Declared 11 police vehicles as surplus property to be disposed of via public sale.

• Authorized a $15 refund to Rigoberto Cano for overpayment of Municipal Court fines.

• Approved expenses for the following: Shannon Plexico and Karen Beane to attend “Understanding Grants” in Anniston on Feb. 27 for $15 each; Nora Sherbert to attend Alabama Association of Public Personnel Administrators “Ethics and Working in the Public Sector” workshop March 26 in Auburn and AAPPA training and development seminar May 20 in Montgomery for a cost of $355; Eddie Bentley to attend Alabama Compliance Implementation and Evaluation Guide workshop March 5-6 in Montgomery, no fee; Eddie Bentley and Wayne Sayers to attend East Alabama Code Officials Association annual conference March 7 in Anniston for $70 each; Krissy King to attend the regional seminar for municipal court officials April 4-5 in Birmingham for $150; Ken Sisk to attend the 2013 municipal magistrate maintenance class June 7 in Montgomery for $35; firefighters Kyle Mosely and Josh Forbus to attend Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations class March 12-14 in Talladega, no fee; and Fire Lieutenants Adam Gardner and Tim Epperson to attend Fire Instructor II course March 11-15 in Anniston, no fee.

• Authorized $90,993 for accounts payable invoices for January and $384,637 for January payrolls and approved all checks, transfers and financial statements.

• Heard: citizen Dale Liner ask that something be done along Oldfield Road to provide children who walk to school a safe way to travel; Councilman Tom Roberts congratulate the Lady Aggies on their advancement to the regional finals and announce a “Celebrate Sylacauga” block party on April 13; Councilman Joe Hogan thank everyone involved in the Miss Sylacauga and Miss Marble Valley pageants held last weekend; Council President Rocky Lucas encourage the public to attend the Arts Council Dinner Theater featuring the “Dill Pickers” this Thursday night and remind everyone about the tax-free weather preparedness holiday this weekend.

The next regular council meeting is March 6 at 9 a.m.

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