By Rick Palsgrove
The city of Groveport is looking to upgrade its facilities to save on energy costs.
Groveport City Council is considering entering into a $1.3 million energy program contract with Dynamix to improve utility consumption and managing costs for the city.
Councilman Shawn Cleary expressed concern at the cost of the contract.
“This is a lot of money,” said Cleary. “I want to make sure it works for us at this kind of cost.”
City Administrator Marsha Hall said the proposed contract contains a guarantee the city will receive a savings on its energy costs.
“The proposal shows a projected annual energy cost savings of $162,313 for direct savings,” said Hall. “It does not include savings based on costs of continued maintenance being spent on older equipment, etc.”
Director of Facilities Management Tom Byrne said, by 2014 standards, the “electrical and mechanical systems at the Groveport Recreation Center, as well as other facilities, are very inefficient and, with today’s technology, we can add years to the life of the systems and save a great deal in energy costs.”
Byrne said the proposed project defines systems in five city facilities that will, to a certain extent be completely redesigned.
“Lighting fixtures in the indoor pool area will be retrofitted with new energy saving LED lights, HVAC systems in all facilities will be re-engineered with energy sensors that heat and cool only when individual areas are occupied, upgrades will be made to the dehumidification system at the rec center, which has one of the facility’s largest energy demands,and several other energy saving upgrades will be incorporated,” said Byrne. “All systems will have the capability to be monitored in real time from my desk top. I believe the project is well worth the investment.”
Council will vote on the Dynamix contract proposal at its Jan. 27 meeting.
Road salt shortage
Public Works Superintendent Dennis Moore said the long, hard winter has created a shortage for road salt throughout the state and salt shipments have been delayed due to bad weather.
“Last winter we only had to salt roads 14 times and this year we’ve been out 28 times already,” said Moore. “We’re not alone in this. We’ll conserve the salt we have.”
He said, until the city receives more salt, primary and secondary roads will still be salted, primarily at intersections and stop sign approaches.
Other Groveport news
•Economic Development Director Jeff Green said there are two commercial projects in the works that could bring 700 to 800 new jobs to Groveport. Further announcements on the projects could come in February.
Green also said three developers are looking to possibly build warehouses in Groveport. He said these would be the first new warehouses constructed in Groveport since 2008.
•Steve Farst will begin work as the new city engineer on Feb. 17 at an annual salary of $91,446. City officials opted to create the city engineer position because they said it is less expensive than contracting out for engineering services. Farst worked with Groveport previously as an engineer with EMH&T.
•Council approved creating two Groveport Parks and Recreation Department jobs to help with the management and maintenance of its facilities. The positions are: building maintenance technician, with an annual pay range of $30,451 to $48,963; and aquatics coordinator, with an annual pay range of $35,006 to $56,264.
•Council is considering increasing weekend and holiday rates at the Links at Groveport golf course by 20 percent for non-residents and 15 percent for residents. Golf cart fees could also rise by 10 percent. No changes are proposed for weekday rates.
•Councilman Ed Dildine was re-elected council president pro-tem for 2014 by council and Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert was elected vice-chair of council.