Hoping to salvage some of the $380,000 in taxpayer money lost to inefficiency each year, York County Commissioners are contemplating $6.1 million in facilities improvements targeted at lowering utility bills.
Commissioners on Wednesday heard a presentation from McClure Company, a Harrisburg-based firm with which it contracted in 2010 to identify inefficiencies.
McClure account manager Shayne Homan recommended 22 energy conservation measures that could be put in place at four facilities: the York County Prison, York County Annex, York County Nursing Home, and York County Judicial Center. While most of the facilities are more than 30 years old, the judicial center is less than 10.
Homan said the county spends $2.7 million per year on utilities, mostly electricity and gas, to operate the buildings. Based on an audit completed by the firm, the county is losing $380,000 per year because of aging or inefficient buildings and equipment.
McClure guarantees the county will save at least $380,000 a year if it spends the $6.1 million to make the necessary improvements, most of which were identified at the prison. Projects include replacement of boilers and pumps, air-conditioning units, and plumbing and laundry upgrades at the prison, window and exterior door upgrades at the annex, and piping insulation upgrades at the nursing home.
Commissioner Doug Hoke asked Homan to explain why, at less than 10 years old, the judicial center is one of the facilities in need of improvement. Homan explained the $220,000 in work to be done at the center includes systems that never worked properly, including a parking garage ventilation system that doesn't function as intended and uses more energy than it should.
Under the contract with McClure, the firm will pay the county the difference if the county doesn't save $380,000 per year, Homan said. He said the cost of financing the $6.1 million in upgrades would be about $349,000, so the county will have a net savings of $1.5 million over the next 20 years if it achieves at least the minimum savings.
Facilities director Scott Cassel said the county has already completed one project, at the county's downtown government center, and is pleased with the results. He said the work could be completed within 12 to 18 months, and without an impact to taxpayers. Instead of overpaying utilities for lost energy, the county would pay for a bond to finance the improvements, he said.
Commissioners, all of whom said they're in favor of the proposal, will vote on its at Wednesday's meeting, 10 a.m. at the York County Administrative Center, 28 E. Market St.
- Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.