By Heather Mullinix
Energy-saving changes are on the way to the Cumberland County Community Complex after the Cumberland County Commission accepted a Clean Tennessee Energy Grant.
The project includes retro-fitting the buildings with drop ceilings, new, energy efficient lighting, networked thermostats and a solar package. It's estimated the project could save more than $12,000 each year in energy consumption and reduce HVAC energy loss by 32 percent. The solar package will generate an estimated 12,808 kWh of energy that will be sold for about $2,433 each year.
Drop ceilings will save an estimated $9,124 in operating costs and reduce the energy needed to maintain the temperature in those buildings by 32 percent, according to resolution 08-2013-1.
Cumberland County is providing about $34,000 of in-kind contributions and will also provide a cash match of $15,719.30.
The project payback is estimated at three years and six months, and includes sales of energy from the solar project. The county will recoup its cash match in one year and one month.
The Clean Tennessee Energy Grant program awarded funds to 19 recipients to assist with installation and construction of energy projects.
Jeff Brown, 8th District commissioner, moved to approve the grant award, supported by Roy Turner, 7th District commissioner. The motion was unanimously approved.
In other business, the commission approved amending the contract between the county and the state Department of Mental Health. The contract establishes the rates for the costs of mental health evaluations and treatment services for criminal defendants charged with only misdemeanors. The contract term had expired June 30, 2013, but resolution 08-2013-2 extended the end date to June 30, 2014.
Carmen Lynch, 9th District commissioner, moved to approve amending the contract, supported by John Kinnunen, 9th District commissioner. The motion was unanimously approved.
The commission approved a resolution in support of "It Can Wait," a national movement to educate drivers on the dangers of texting and driving. Jan McNeil, 5th District commissioner, moved to approve, supported by Turner. The motion was unanimously approved.
According to resolution 08-2013-3, A Virginia Tech study showed those who text and drive are 23 times more likely to crash.
The national day of action is set for Sept. 19. Visit ItCanWait.com to learn more.
The commission reappointed Trey Kerley to the Cumberland County E-911 Board, and appointed Dr. Tersa Lively to the board, as well. Their terms will expire Aug. 31, 2017.
Martha Kemmer Hale and Stanley Hall were reappointed to the Cumberland County Regional Planning Commission, with terms to expire Aug. 31, 2017.
The commission's audit committee was reappointed, with Harry Sabine, 1st District commissioner; McNeil; and Sonya Rimmer, 8th District commissioner; to be joined by Dennis Hinch and Glenn Harper. Harper will be a new addition to the committee, replacing the seat held by Bill Startup, who has moved out of the county.
Joyce Rorabaugh was reappointed Cumberland County archivist for a one-year term to expire Sept. 18, 2014.
The commission also approved a public official bond for Director of Schools Donald Andrews.