Comprehensive energy audit approved by Martin officials to look for savings

Comprehensive energy audit approved by Martin officials to look for savings
By MARY JEAN HALL
Special to The Press
The Martin board of mayor and aldermen voted to complete an energy audit in order to save the city money.
The board approved Resolution R2012-11, which authorizes Mayor Randy Brundige to enter into a contract with Amer-esco Inc. to perform a comprehensive energy audit for the City of Martin. The audit fee is $6,000.
“I think they have found a niche market to make money and save the city money,” alderman Randy Edwards said after the presentation at the informal meeting. “That’s the bottom line.”
Ameresco is a company that works with organizations on energy improvement projects. The company has offices in 34 states as well as two other countries with the regional office based out of Brentwood.
According to Ameresco, the city could actually have a net cash flow of $4,614 after the first year of improvements. The total annual cost after year one is estimated at $88,776 and the total annual estimated savings is $93,389.
After 10 years, the net annual cash flow would total $52,889. The total cost over 10 years is $1,017,713 while the total savings is $1,070,602.
Some of the capital financing alternatives in-clude bonds, capital outlay notes, lease purchase agreements, and grants and incentives. Guaranteed savings could also be used as a funding source.
According to Ameresco, if the savings obligations are not met each year, the company will pay the difference. Anything made over the projected savings obligations would go back to the City of Martin.
Ameresco has also worked on other projects with various entities including the City of Knoxville and Henry, Madison and Haywood counties.
The University of Ken-tucky and Austin Peay State University have also been customers.
The projects included lighting retrofits, water conservation measures, lighting controls, major HVAC replacements, electrical system upgrades, vending machine controls, transformer replacements, solar panel installation and other upgrades.
The contract with Ameresco would call for an energy audit of the following city buildings and lighting: City Hall, Fire Department, Fire Station at 111 Ellis St., Library, Parks and Recreation, Police Station, Public Works, REED Center, Senior Adult Center, Waste Water Treatment Plant, Water Plant, street lights and traffic signals.
A few of the potential projects for the City of Martin include waste water systems upgrades, lighting retrofits, replacing exit signs with LED exit signs, exterior lighting upgrades, adding traffic signals with LED technology, occupancy-based thermostat installation, replacing HVAC units and creating an alternative use for the landfill.
The company suggested implementing a 50 killowat solar farm that would be visible from Highway 43 and Frontage Road or converting the area into a dog park. According to the company, if the city decided to install a solar farm, TVA would actually purchase the power back from Martin. Then, the City of Martin would essentially turn around and purchase power from TVA at a lower cost.
The board also accepted a grant contract from the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office for $32,878.60, which would pay for over time with police officers who are put out in different areas of the city for comprehensive alcohol risk reduction.
The board also held a public hearing for phase three of the Martin Downtown Improvement Project, which is expected to begin in the Spring. Randy McKinnon of TLM Associates Inc. gave the quick presentation on the project. McKinnon is an engineer consultant for the project.
The project should start at Elm Street and end at Oakland Street and would include widening sidewalks. They will continue the tree planting and will match the driveways and sidewalks with those done in the previous phases.
There will be a five-foot grass strip and five-foot sidewalk implemented along University Street. The project is expected to last about eight months.
The next regular Martin board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 13 at 5:15 p.m. in the city courtroom.
Editor’s note: Mary Jean Hall, a Covington native, is a senior at the University of Tennessee at Martin majoring in communications.
Published in The WCP 10.9.12

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