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Council Sees Savings

Lighting fixtures upgrade in city buildings will cut costs substantially

September 21, 2010
Lighting fixtures in city buildings will soon be updated to increase energy conservation and to comply with Act 129 as part of a state incentive program, Warren City Council was told at its meeting Monday evening. Act 129 created an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program requiring energy distribution companies with 100,000 customers or more to adopt a plan to reduce energy demand and consumption within its territory by 2013. According to Assistant City Manager Mary Ann Nau, the city recently participated in two lighting audits, one with Scott Electric and the other with Hite Electric, at no cost to the city. First Energy, the parent company of Penelec, provided a grant on Sept. 14 to replace the lighting at city hall, the public works garage, and fire department building. Those facilities will have fluorescent lighting replaced with new fixtures, lamps and ballasts, and all incandescent lighting will be replaced with LED bulbs. Labor will be provided by the city. The estimated annual savings for all three facilities is $7,898.09, according to Nau. The motion to approve a grant application with Lowe’s to help fund the replacement of playground equipment at Crescent Park was unanimously approved. Half of the cost of the galvanized steel equipment would be purchased through the Lowe’s grant and the other half through a grant from GameTime, a commercial playground manufacturing company. “It would be nice to know that we had Lowe’s grant acceptance first so that we know that there is, in fact, no cost to the city,” said council member Scott Pascuzzi. It was pointed out that the motion is for the application only and that the actual approval of purchasing the equipment would take place at another council meeting if funding is granted. Construction would take place in May or June of next year. Police Chief Raymond Zydonik was asked about issues concerning handicapped parking and those occupying handicapped spaces illegally by Mayor Mark Phillips, who cited a letter to the editor in Monday’s Times Observer. Zydonik explained that the police generally deal with violations on public streets and not in privately-owned parking lots such as Thorne’s Bilo and Wal-Mart. However, he said, “If it’s posted properly and someone is parked there that shouldn’t be, we will issue a citation if we are called and notified. We do respond to those complaints.” Representatives of the West Side Alliance voiced their concerns about the proposed waste water treatment plant to be located at Pennsylvania Ave. and Pine St. Spokesperson Susan George presented a petition to council, signed by residents of the west end, asking to be informed of any discussions regarding use or planning for the property. Council accepted the petition without comment. In other business, council: ¯ approved the decision to authorize a document for the city along with GRO-Warren to use $2.5 million from the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) grant for the economic development of downtown Warren. As president of GRO-Warren, Phillips recused himself from voting; ¯ agreed to look at a proposal from Farley Wright, executive director of Experience, Inc., for use of land behind the Transit Authority of Warren County on Clark St.; ¯ learned that the Public Works Department is getting ready for leaf collection as well as working on winterizing playgrounds and the municipal pool for the season. ¯ welcomed new junior council member John Wortman. After being sworn in by Phillips, Wortman told council, “I can bring valuable insight to how the youth thinks and feels...thank you for this opportunity.” City Manager Jim Nelles said he would give Wortman a tour of the facilities in Warren and have him attend a meeting of each committee to give him a full view of what goes on in the city.


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