County partners with TRANE

Published 11:00 pm Monday, June 10, 2013

The Pike County Commission is moving forward in a partnership with TRANE Building Services in an effort to overhaul the heating and cooling systems in county buildings.

At Monday night’s commission meeting, commissioners unanimously voted to proceed with talks for an investment grade audit after TRANE surveyed all buildings and found that improvements could be made.

Upgrades to all systems will cost about $500,000, as estimated by TRANE, however the project would be handled as part of a “performance contracting” agreement. At the last commission meeting, a TRANE representative told commissioners he estimated that the county would be saving about $51,000 in energy costs each year due to the upgrades and that money would pay for the project debt.

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Also at the meeting, commissioners were divided on whether or not it was a good idea to advertise for two positions requested by County Engineer Russell Oliver who noted money for the positions was already in the budget. With two commissioners absent, Robin Sullivan and Jimmy Barron, a vote to table the issue failed, with commissioners Charlie Harris and Joey Jackson voting to table approval to advertise for the positions.

Homer Wright and Ray Goodson voted not to table. At a deadlock, the commissioners present voted to extend a temporary engineer’s assistant position by 90 days until commissioners could come together on whether or not to approve the advertising and hiring of the two requested positions.

Monday night, commissioners did approve the purchase of a new sheriff’s office vehicle to replace one destroyed in a crash; the revenue commissioner’s list of “Insolvents, Errors and Taxes in Litigation for 2012;” a resolution to move forward with a voting center in the Saco community; to refinance outstanding bonds at a lower rate to be paid off in the same timeframe as the original bonds; Probate Judge Wes Allen’s request to fill a vacant position in the Probate Office; a proposed emergency operations plan; and to back the Pike County Area Chamber of Commerce in its effort to create a strategic plan for improving the county through business development and growth.

Oliver also shared with the commission that, through the Choctawhatchee and Pea River Wastewater Management Authority, the county had been granted $9,000 for needed work on County Road 6631.

County Administrator Harry Sanders had a positive report for commissioners, too, noting that the county’s rating by Moody’s has improved for the second time since he’s been working for the county.

“Commissioners, that’s, in no small part, due to your management over time,” Sanders said. “Folks as far away as New York understand we are doing good and we are doing better.”

The next scheduled meeting of the Pike County Commission is June 24.