Julia Roberts Goad
PIKEVILLE, KY - The Pike County Fiscal Court agreed to move ahead with an energy savings program for the county’s buildings, provided the price is right.
The PCFC has been working with Perfection Group, a Lexington based company that designs and installs mechanical and environmental systems focusing on energy efficiency.
Earlier this year, Perfection Group conducted a detailed analysis of the some of the County’s buildings including the Hall of Justice, the Pike County Courthouse, the satellite courthouses in Phelps and Belfry and the Belfry Volunteer Fire Department and Belfry Road Department Building.
The facilities are old, and many of the systems such as lighting, heating and cooling and ventilation are antiquated, said Tony Apro, President of Perfection Group. He pointed out recent failures of the boiler system at the Hall of Justice and the cooling system in the Pike County Courthouse that were due to outdated equipment.
He explained that a detailed study began in February of this year showed Perfection could update the county’s facilities and the county would see over $84,000 in utility savings annually.
The company would upgrade systems and replace inefficient equipment to create a more cost efficient model.
Apro said that the savings to the PCFC are guaranteed.
“If we tell you that you will save a certain amount, and you save less, we make up that savings,” Apros said. “If on the other hand, you save more, then you simply pocket the extra savings.”
He explained that the Court would pay for Perfection’s work in arrears, meaning the county would have a year from the completion of the work to pay Perfection.
Apros said the way the project financing was set up, it would be a “cost neutral” endeavor.
The Court felt hesitant about the project, due to the $700,000 cost at a time when county revenues are down. So Perfection Group adjusted some of the project and spoke again to the County.
“We have put a plan together to lower the cost but keep the savings,” Apros said. “But when you remove cost you remove savings. We met with Civic Finance Advisors, who partner with the Kentucky Association of Counties (who would finance the project) and talked about concerns and how to get positive cash flow every year.
Perfection Group said they looked at the engineering side of the project and identified $20,000 tp $30,000 in rebates from energy companies. The project was also adjusted in the Pike County Courthouse and Hall of Justice, Animal Shelter, Belfry and Phelps Courthouses.
After hearing from Perfection Group, District Five Magistrate Hilman Dotson put a simple question to Johnda Biliter, Pike County Treasurer.
“Johnda, if we borrow the money for this project, are we going to be able to make the payments?” Dotson asked.
“I don’t know,” Biliiter said, citing several factors that could affect the county’s income and expenditures. “We just have to wait and see.”
The Court agreed to allow Assistant County Attorney Roland Case to enter into contract negotiations with Perfection Group, but did not approve a contract with the company.