Last updated: May 16. 2014 12:07PM - 667 Views
By - mlasley@civitasmedia.com

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Leitchfield Utilities recently received its first and only energy conservation project proposal from Energy Savings Group (ESG).

Dan Sanders, of ESG, attended the Thursday, May 15 Leitchfield Utilities Commission meeting to discuss the next phase in the utilities’ pursuit of an energy savings grant of up to $100,000.

The utilities’ grant would be part of a $1.5 million settlement from TVA for municipalities in the commonwealth of Kentucky to be used specifically for energy conservation.

The next phase in Leitchfield Utilities’ grant process is to review and study project proposals submitted by energy savings organizations.

According to Utilities Chairman Robert Crawford, ESG was the lone bidder for the project, and the total proposed project cost is currently $3,510,600 to be financed over a 15-year period.

Should, following the study period, Leitchfield Utilities agree to accept this proposal, it will then need to select a vendor and negotiate the terms and conditions of ESG’s proposal.

After this has been done, a contract will be drafted to allow the City to go into debt with the guarantee that the debt will be paid and money and energy will be saved as a result of the energy conservation project.

According to Crawford, based on ESG’s proposal, there would be a negative cash flow during the first six years of the project, and up-front capital would be required for the utilities to break even on the project.

Sanders said the up-front capital will be a combination of grants and utility rebates that are to be anticipated before actual payments would begin.

In addition, while ESG’s proposal cost is a “firm price,” it is negotiable, said Sanders.

The Utilities Commission is still not committed to the project or obligated to take any further action regarding the grant process.

Greg Copley, of the University of Kentucky, will assist Leitchfield Utilities with the proposal study, Crawford said.

In other business:

*Utilities Superintendent Kevin Pharis, who was absent during the meeting, requested approval to purchase lab equipment for Leitchfield’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Crawford read Pharis’s request to purchase a used autoclave at the cost of $6,000 with a two-year warranty - according to Utilities Chairman Robert Crawford, a new autoclave would cost $12,000.

Pharis also requested the Utilities purchase for the plant a start-up kit and supplies for e. coli testing at the cost of $5,000; lab-grade counter tops and acid protected cabinet tops at the cost of $4,900; and certify the plant at the cost of $1,500.

After reviewing Pharis’s request, the Utilities Commission passed a motion to approve the purchase of the Waste Water Treatment Plant lab equipment, which was budgeted for the current fiscal year.

*Pharis requested approval to order a mini excavator/track hoe to replace the Utilities’ current 1995 back hoe.

The mini track hoe, a John Deere 50 G, would be ordered on state contract pricing, so it would not have to be bid.

Additionally, the mini track hoe costs $63,850, a third of the cost of a new back hoe, and would result in less property damage as a result of its use.

After a short discussion, the Utilities Commission approved the purchase of the John Deere mini track hoe, which will be paid for and delivered in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

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