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County learns how $1.4M energy project is going

By Jennifer Peryam - jperyam@h-ponline.com

Huntington County Board of Commissioners heard an update on an energy efficiency project that has been completed at the Huntington County Jail in a Monday meeting.

Jeff Rabourn, Ameresco, an energy solutions provider, performed an energy saving project at the jail that begin in May and ended in November. The cost of the project was $1,431,653.

“We had lighting and water conservation upgrades to reduce bills and put in new HVAC equipment that needed to be replaced after 30 years,” Rabourn said.

He said the county will save $157,000 in energy and operational savings per year with the upgrades.

“The jail will have the benefit of newer equipment and long term will save energy,” Rabourn said.

Terry Stoffel, Huntington County sheriff, attended the meeting and said it is a good thing when tax dollars can be saved.

“This helps us save money and put money back into other places where it is needed,” Stoffel said.

He said the county is starting to think more about conserving energy.

Tom Wall, commissioner, said he is pleased the project has been completed.

“We were fighting fires to keep things going over there. All this was needed to be done and the savings are a great thing,” Wall said.

In other business, Troy Hostetler, county highway superintendent, informed the commission that there will be lighted stop signs placed at the intersection of Division Street and CR 300West.

“There have been a lot of accidents there and this will help alleviate that,” Hostetler said.

There will be two signs that will be sent to the county this week and the county highway department will install the signs.

Bob Jeffers, Huntington County emergency management director, said a meeting will be 10 a.m. Jan. 17 at the sheriff’s department for a multi-hazard mitigation plan.

“It is a plan that is updates every five to six years that is required by the state and covers flooding and tornadoes,” Jeffers said.

He said it will take a year to update the plan. The Jan. 17 meeting will be the first of four meetings.

He also requested EMA volunteers participate in a defensive driving program. It is a computer based course that teaches defensive driving that will be taken by 23 volunteers.

“This will help with insurance rates and liability. They will learn about how to look ahead and have safe following distances,” Jeffers said.