VIDEO: DeKalb County Commission considers energy saving program
October 11, 2017
Southern Torch (3284 articles)

VIDEO: DeKalb County Commission considers energy saving program

PHOTO: Commission President Ricky Harcrow discusses a resolution for The Council on Aging. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor 

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — (Video at the Bottom) The DeKalb County Commission convened on Tuesday, October 10th for their regularly scheduled meeting. After Commission President Ricky Harcrow opened the meeting with prayer, Commissioner Chris Kuykendall lead the pledge, and minutes were approved, Road Department Director Tom Broyles gave an update from his department.

According to Broyles, Tropical Storm Nate had done very little damage as it moved through DeKalb County. He only reported, “only a few trees down and some minor washes. Not anything serious at all. I think the rain fell at a slow enough pace not to cause any flood issues.”

In other business, Broyles reported the department is hauling chert to District 1, on roads North of DeSoto State Park currently. After this work is complete, crews will be hauling chert to Ider. Crews are also finishing up their last round of mowing, and hopefully will be finished with their second round of herbicide application in a couple of weeks.

The road department is also in need of a new excavator, as the current model being used to excavate chert was bought in 2007, and will require a lot of money to be spend on it. Broyles asked the commission for permission to purchase a Caterpillar 324 for a bid price of $296,000.00. When Harcrow asked if there were any comments on the matter, Commissioner Shane Wootten explained that the work that would be done with the new excavator would be worth the price tag:

“Seeing as how important it is for us to be able to haul chert, and the foreseeable future, with the lack of funds from the state legislature, we’re going to have to haul more and more chert. I think this would be an important piece of equipment to make sure when we are able to work, that we can be working. Once you divide this purchase price over the number of loads of chert we should be able to haul using for the next 10 years it’s really a minimal expense. Matt (Sharp), do you think we have enough in the budget to make this purchase?” said Wootten.

“I do,” said County Administrator Matt Sharp. The motion to purchase the excavator was then approved by the commission.

Broyles also discussed purchasing another storage tank for liquid asphalt that would be located on a property, “between Henagar and Ider.” He explained that if patch crews are working north of Henagar or Ider, they must return to Fort Payne to reload, which costs the crews two hours of work. The commission agreed to explore the option.

The commission also agreed to pass a damage on to their insurance carrier. Jim Hargrave filed a claim that a county truck damaged a vehicle on County Road 89, near DeSoto State Park. The commission approved the claim.

Before addressing the next item, Commission President Ricky Harcrow announced that Cherokee County Probate Judge Kirk Day had passed away. A mistake had been made, and Judge Day remained in critical condition. Day had suffered a heart attack at his home last Thursday, but sadly passed away on Wednesday (the next day). Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson addresses the DeKalb County Commission. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

For the Sheriff’s Office, Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson asked to hire Melanie Kuykendall to replace Tiffany Barksdale as a full-time Corrections Officer, who had recently resigned.  He also asked to promote Sebastian Gomez, Jordan McGinnis, and Wilson Kuykendall and adjust their pay rates to 6(A). These promotions are to fill the roles of, “Mr. Monroe, Mr. Wright, and Leslie Francisco,” who were sergeants in the jail staff. The commission approved the personnel moves, with Commissioner Kuykendall abstaining due to family relationships with some of the new hires and promotions.

DeKalb County Engineer Ben Luther asked for permission to attend the CGEI Legislative and Governmental relations class, which will be held in Prattville on November 1st and 2nd. The commission approved the request.

The commission then passed a resolution regard the Council on Aging’s transportation program. The resolution is required yearly for the program. The motion passed.

Commissioner Scot Westbrook then asked the commission to appoint Jason Bryan as board member for DeKalb Ambulance Service (DAS). The appointment is to fill a resignation that had occurred in Westbrook’s district. The commission approved the appointment.

Barry Wisner of Every Watt Matters addresses the DeKalb County Commission. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

For the last item, Barry Wisner representing Every Watt Matters addressed the commission on possibly entering into a contract with the company to save on energy costs in the county’s facilities. The company has already entered into a contract with the City of Rainsville and The DeKalb County Board of Education is currently considering the company’s services. Back in March, Wisner and the company’s CEO addressed the Rainsville City Council on the service. The home office of the company is located in Vancouver, Washington. He also said that hopefully this week the company would be finishing up the installation and upgrades in Rainsville’s facilities.

According to Wisner, the company would install filters and LED lighting in the county’s facilities.

“We’ll come in and conduct an audit and it will cost the county nothing,” said Wisner. The “audit” will be conducted in every building, and will determine current energy consumption and how much potential energy savings there are.

If the county decides to utilize the service, there are three different options regarding paying: direct cash purchase, financing, and lighting as a service. Cash purchase is, as the name implies, the county will make a down payment, and then pay in full when the contract is complete. “Financing,” will allow the the county to pay for the service out of the savings that are accrued each month. “Lighting as a service,” would extend the contract from 5 to 20 years, and the company would provide the lighting equipment throughout the contract.

Wisner left his contact information for the commissioners and made plans to meet with several commissioners to discuss the service. After his presentation, the commission concluded the meeting.

The next meeting of the DeKalb County Commission will be held on October 24, 2017 at 10 am in The DeKalb County Activities building. 

Watch the Full Video: 

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