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Council OKs Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Kim Ecklund

City of Jamestown buildings will undergo energy efficiency upgrades later this year.

On Monday, the Jamestown City Council approved a resolution to enter into an agreement with Stark Energy Services Company for improvements to city facilities for a total cost of $1,947,574.

Kim Ecklund, At-Large city councilwoman, said the funding for the improvements will be allocated from the Smart City Capital Investment Program bond that was approved last year. Also, state Downtown Revitalization Initiative and capital funding will be used.

Ecklund said more than half the money for the improvements will go toward a new heating and cooling system for the city Municipal Building. She said currently there is uncertainty with the operation of the heating and cooling system at City Hall.

Todd Hanson of Stark Energy Services Company said the new chiller being proposed to be installed is one of the most energy efficient on the market today. He said the new boilers being proposed to be installed are much more energy efficient that the current setup, which is the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities district heating system.

Scott Derby of Stark Energy Services Company said they guarantee energy efficiency savings to the city, which is being predicted to be about $78,000 a year. He said payback for the cost of the improvements is around 24 years, which is the life expectancy of the equipment being installed.

“What sets us apart from a typical contractor is we are on the hook for those savings,” Derby said.

Additional improvements being proposed include a heating plant upgrade for the Public Works Department Steele Street facility; lighting upgrades for the city Municipal Building, fire stations, Public Works Department facility, Parks Department building and Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park.

In other business, the council approved a resolution to amend the 2019 Community Development Block Grant action plan to include federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The city will receive $705,000 in additional funding to be deployed quickly to assist city residents. The funding will be used to assist renters and small businesses in the city.

The council approved a resolution to make a change in the plan to implement smart parking meters and directional signage for downtown attractions. Earlier this month, Jeff Lehman, city public works director, said the original plan was approved about a year ago by the council, but recently state officials contacted the city about a minor change that needed to be made.

In 2017, city officials received a Transportation Alternatives Program/Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant to fund “Smart Tourism” initiative that will assist city officials in developing signage to help people navigate downtown easier.

The city received a $400,000 federal grant, which was allocated by the state, with a local match of $100,000 being provided by the Gebbie Foundation for the wayfinding improvements that also includes the installation of smart parking meters. In December 2019, city officials announced 200 smart parking meters, which monitor two spaces each, will be installed.

Following the approval of the resolutions, Eddie Sundquist, Jamestown mayor, and Anthony Dolce, Ward 2 councilman, discussed a meeting between local businesses and city officials last week. Last Monday, city businesses sent a letter to the council about the need to change city zoning code to allow for more outdoor seating and entertainment once they are allowed to reopen following the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Sundquist said city officials are meeting internally this week to coordinate a plan to assist the business owners with their request.

He said a plan should be in place soon for members of the council to review.

Dolce said it was a productive meeting with the city business owners who are facing challenges as they plan to reopen.

“Anything we can do on our end to alleviate those problems to help them get on their feet again,” Dolce said.

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