Beaver warms up to lighting proposal
CALCUTTA — The Beaver Local school district is expected to cut its electric costs by $58,718 a year if it switches to LED lights.
School board member Greg Eisenhart reported at the work session held prior to this week’s board meeting that swapping out all 2,357 light fixtures for energy-saving LED lights and having Enertech Energy responsible for their maintenance would reduce the district’s annual electric bill and related expenses from $118,141 to $59,423.
The board first reported in November it had been in discussions with Enertech Electrical of Lowellville about performing an energy audit in partnership with Future Energy Solutions and then come up with a plan for the district to replace the lights.
Under the plan, there is no cost to the district. Instead, Enertech and Future Energy would receive 75 percent of the projected savings for 15 years as payment, with Beaver Local keeping the rest, which comes out to about $15,000 annually. During those 15 years, Enertech would be responsible for replacing lighting and related maintenance.
Before the board decides, Superintendent Eric Lowe said he asked a couple of local electrical companies to submit quotes, which they have yet to receive. He said the Lowellville school district contracted with Enertech nearly two years ago and officials there are satisfied so far.
“It’s almost a no-brainer,” Lowe said.
The board will look into it further before making a decision.
When the new school complex was built in 2014-15, officials said they could not afford to go with LED lighting because of the costs. Since then, the price of LED lighting has dropped considerably to something the district can afford.
In other action, the board approved a memorandum of understanding with the St. Clair Township Police Department that will result in one police officer being assigned as the district’s school resource officer (SRO). Beaver Local has been staffed with an SRO for the past two years, with various officers performing the duties depending on availability.
Lowe said they believe developing a relationship with students to gain their trust is an essential function of the SRO, which is why having the same officer serve in that role is critical. He said they would have done this sooner but the police department had to work out the details with its officers and their union.
The SRO would be assigned to Beaver Local, with the board responsible for the officer’s salary and benefits during those nine months, which comes out to $46,000, Lowe said.
School Treasurer Stacy Williams reported the district will save about $20,000 a year after she was able to negotiate some concessions in their new contract with Cintas, which provides the district with floor mats and cleaning equipment and supplies. Beaver Local spent $106,000 with Cintas last year.
In personnel matters, the board hired two new custodians — Margie Colella and Elizabeth Garcia –and accepted the retirement of long-time bus driver Kenneth Delposen. Lowe thanked Delposen for his many years with the district.
“He will definitely be missed,” said Eisenhart, who was named board president for the year.