Posted on

Lighting audit could result in savings

Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Saving money and energy was the theme of Wayne Burrell’s presentation to the Harrison County Board of Commissioners during Monday evening’s meeting. He is the vice president of sales for Future Energy Solutions and approached the governing body in hopes to add the Harrison County Jail as a customer.

FES supplies interior, LED lighting systems into buildings and maintains the upkeep of the lights for a 15-year period.

Montgomery County, in west-central Indiana, recently became a customer of FES, Burrell said, and is projected to save $400,000 over 15 years due to the change in lighting suppliers.

Burrell told the commissioners that he understood to make this change at the jail he would first have to approach them and that he was simply looking to do a free-of-charge audit on the building. The audit will determine if the county can receive funding for the project and also show how much of the electrical bill at the jail is based solely on the lights operating in the building. The findings, then, will show the amount of savings that could occur if the jail decided to work with FES.

Commissioner Jim Heitkemper told Burrell he gave the three commissioners a lot to think about, and it was taken under advisement for the time being.

In other business at the meeting, Darrell Voelker, executive director of the Harrison County Economic Development Corp., presented the commissioners with the final six applicants approved by a review committee to receive the remaining $10,000 small-business grants from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

The county received the total $250,000 grant earlier in the year and the first 19 applicants were presented in August and have already received their grant funding. The commissioners unanimously approved the six presented by Voelker, completing the total funding on this grant.

Harrison County Sheriff Nick Smith asked the commissioners for an additional $17,000 in his overtime line, due in large part from many employees having to take military leave throughout the year. He explained the department currently has plenty of money for this in its regular fund, but, the way it is set up by the county, he is not allowed to transfer funds from one line to the other.

Smith assured the commissioners that the county will see even more than the $17,000 returned at the end of the year. He also suggested that the governing bodies sit down and evaluate a better strategy for ways to transfer funds from line to line to alleviate this issue in the future.

Eric Wise, county planner, spoke to the commissioners on behalf of the Land Conservation Committee to express the desire of four individuals who would like to establish a conservation easement on a piece of property in order to better secure farmland preservation in the area.

Wise was present at the meeting to request an additional $45,000 to cover legal and administrative fees to record the easement. He assured those present that no part of this funding would go directly to a landowner.

The commissioners unanimously passed this request to the county council.

Finally, the commissioners approved the signing of the contract regarding the final phase of the construction and inspection for the Lanesville connector road project.

The commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 6, at 8:30 a.m. at the government center in Corydon.