Centerville councilman concerned energy-savings plan could bring costs

Telegraph correspondentApril 16, 2013 

CENTERVILLE -- The City Council discussed Tuesday whether joining a national energy-saving program might bring the city unexpected costs.

Before unanimously passing a resolution to become part of the Better Buildings Challenge Community Partnership, Councilman Ed Tucker asked for clarification about whether taking part might mandate unexpected and unbudgeted costs to the city.

Tucker said in reviewing materials from the program, he saw examples of $20,000-plus renovation projects highlighted in Atlanta and Hall County. He asked if joining the initiative would force the city to upgrade facilities to become more energy efficient.

Centerville City Administrator Patrick Eidson told the council the program had no mandates for specific upgrade standards or cost commitments. He said the partnership was an effort to get local governments and others to consider energy savings opportunities and take advantage of them when possible.

With those assurances, Tucker agreed the program is an initiative the city should take part in to raise awareness and to stay informed of energy-saving possibilities that could save Centerville money, not cost it.

Mayor John Harley said the Better Buildings Challenge has been discussed and was recommended by the Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition. He agreed he saw no mandatory costs or commitments in the program.

The program is part of an effort by the U.S. Department of Energy to promote energy-efficient buildings in the private and public sector. It also provides potential technical assistance and help in finding proven solutions for energy efficiency.

In other business, the council tabled a planned discussion of coming water and sewer projects. and made proclamations regarding April being Child Abuse Prevention Month and Industry Appreciation Month as well as April 25 being Parental Alienation Awareness Day.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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