EDMORE — In an attempt to cut down on energy costs and usage, Montabella Community Schools officials are planning on making some changes for the school year.
The elementary school’s and junior/senior high school’s current lights will be replaced with LED lights, which are more energy efficient and offer rebates for the school district.
According to Montabella Superintendent Shelly Millis, the school district spends a hefty amount on their electricity bills, and their lights are turned on all day during the school year.
“You talk about our gym lights, and those are turned on at 7:30 a.m. and most days aren’t shut off until 10 p.m.,” Millis said. “A lot of Saturdays, those are on as well.”
Millis estimated Montabella would save around $8,000 by installing the LED lights, but she also talked to Consumers Energy about the school’s electricity rate and was able to lower it before the lights were even installed.
“Apparently, commercial accounts have multiple different rate structures,” she explained to the school board on Monday evening. “We’re going to save $30,000 by doing nothing but switching our rate.”
She noted that Consumers Energy has different programs based on peak-hour energy usage, and the program the company had fit with when the school used their electricity.
The school board unanimously voted to accept the $76,176 bid from HighPoint Electric of Belmont for LED lights in the elementary school and junior/senior high school. HighPoint Electric was $1,102 less expensive than Edmore Electric Company. The money for the new lights will come out of Montabella’s sinking fund.
“The bid wasn’t that much different,” School Board President Jann LaPointe said. “But then, I saw HighPoint (Electric) had a 10-year warranty.”
“I would have liked to go local,” said Trustee Ivan Renne, although he added that he understood HighPoint Electric’s bid was a better deal.
Millis told the school board that even with Edmore Electric Company’s slightly higher bid, they were missing some lights and the cost would increase some to accommodate what the school district actually needed.
In Other Matters …
The Montabella Board of Education unanimously approved/adopted the following items:
• A 403(b) tax sheltered annuity plan.
• A 5 cent increase in lunch prices for the 2017-2018 school year.
• Changes to the junior/senior high school handbook.
• The implementation of a healthy living elective class.
• A $3,282.85 purchase for textbooks for the state required health class.
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