Coweta prepaying some energy efficiency leases
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Coweta County will be pre-paying some of the energy efficiency capital leases taken out as a result of efficiency upgrades in 2006.
As part of the upgrades, all county facilities except the Powell Library received new energy efficient light and plumbing fixtures, and there was a new heat and air system installed in the administration building. The leases were intended to be paid off with the savings in utility bills.
There were two leases, of $1.2 million and $1.5 million said Kelly Mickle, assistant county administrator, at Tuesday's county commission meeting. Payments are due twice a year, and both leases are set to be paid off in November 2016.
By prepaying, the county will save $14,876 on one lease and $35,966 on the other.
The county is paying 4 percent interest on the leases, said Mickle. "Right now, we are barely making 0.5 percent on the cash we have in the bank," she said.
Commission Chairman Bob Blackburn said that county staff is currently working on a long-term needs assessment for administration facilities.
"It's very commendable for prior staff and boards to make do with what we had," Blackburn said, but he wants to move forward with the needs assessment. With money being invested in the administration building, "we want to make sure the taxpayers aren't putting lipstick on a pig."
In other meeting business:
• The board awarded a contract to McCoy Grading for intersection improvements at Gordon Road. and Ga. Hwy. 54, and the realignment of Haynie Road at the railroad bridge.
The original bids for the projects came in well above the engineer's estimates, so the commissioners initially rejected the bids and had staff negotiate with the bidders on value engineering proposals. There were adjustments and removal of two items of work, but the bids were still higher than expected, said County Administrator Michael Fouts. Staff recommended that the contract be awarded to McCoy, the original low bidder. The original bid was $1,343,307, and the final bid was $1,271,067, a reduction of $72,239. That's still 10.5 percent above the engineering estimate, Fouts said.
• Commissioner Paul Poole read a tribute to the late Herb Bridges. Bridges worked for years with the post office in Sharpsburg, but was most well known for his collection of "Gone With the Wind" memorabilia.
"We lost a great person," Poole said. "I was fortunate to have gotten to know him and I just wish his family the best."