Energy study leads to county leasing agreement

Bryce Ethridge, The Valdosta Daily Times, Ga.
·3 min read

May 2—VALDOSTA — The Lowndes County Commission released the results of an energy conservation study that led to approval of a 20-year equipment lease.

The 20-year equipment lease is set to provide a "return on investment" by way of "guaranteed energy savings performance."

The study was implemented by the Lowndes County Commission in 2018, contracting ABM Building Solutions to perform it. Jason Anderson, sales manager, led the presentation on its findings.

"Before ABM, you were on track to spend about $39 million for the next 20 years," Anderson said. "With our reduction in your current consumption of utilities, you're looking to spend about $29.8 million."

Meaning $9 million to $10 million can go back into county infrastructure, he said. The "return on investment" requires an initial investment of $42,999,426 with a fixed rate of 2.79% over 20 years.

No money is required up front and the first payment is due in 2023. ABM is allowing $22 million to be paid on principal without penalty for the first five years.

According to the study's findings, the "return on investment" will include: — Operational savings, capital avoidance and water benefit that covers all of investment including interest, which is budget neutral. — Flexibility to use stimulus or SPLOST funds toward the investment, which is possible general fund relief. — Addressing all known existing aged, outdated and inefficient infrastructure. — Comprehensive water meter system replacement, such as water meters, water meter reading technology, billing system and customer app. — Comprehensive facility infrastructure solution that addresses operational waste streams through energy conservation measures, upgrades all past useful-life heating/ventilation/air conditioning mechanical and addresses building envelope issues including roofs.

And two years of preventative HVAC maintenance and one year of preventative controls maintenance.

ABM's plan includes retrofitting and replacing fluorescent bulbs with new high-efficient LED lights, installing open-sourced web-based KMC energy management system and replacing inefficient transformers with high-efficiency transformers.

Solar energy will be used on all feasible buildings, and roofs will be replaced and resealed as needed.

County Commission approved the Lowndes County Station No. 5 to receive renovations and additions from Kellerman Construction Company for $796,865.

Station No. 5's existing living quarters on its north side will be renovated to meet the needs of EMS staff; and additions will include a truck bay and southside living quarters to meet the needs of fire/rescue staff.

County Commission approved the $26,751 purchase of licenses and hardware for the Odyssey Jail Project.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office made the request for additional licenses which will be used for jail inmate classification and e-signatures.

Classification is being used and is needed to computerize the process of classifications of all inmates that come into the system.

Signature pads are also being purchased for the jail which is needed for the software project to "go-live" in May, according to the request.

County engineering staff made the final inspection of Landings Subdivision Phase II, off of Val Del Road at Sermans Road, marking the work as "substantially complete."

According to the request, a contractor-provided punch list of construction items will be addressed and the final paperwork is in process.

The final plat cannot be signed until all paperwork is received. County subsequently approved the adoption of a resolution accepting subdivision roads for county maintenance.

County Commission also approved Allstate Construction with Cauthan Construction as the construction manager for the historic Lowndes County Courthouse rehabilitation and restoration that began in February.

County approved a liquor license for Richard D. Johnson of Johnson Distributing Company and a wine license for Jacqulyne A. Sirmans of Eddie Felders doing business as Felders Country Meat Market.

Jeff Sikes was approved for reappointment to the Valdosta-Lowndes Airport Authority.