Johnson Control says it is close to showing city the savings

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 18, 2002

NATCHEZ &045;&045; A Johnson Controls representative hopes to inform city officials soon about how much the city could save by changing how it uses energy and water and maintains property.

&uot;We hope to get that information to them by the end of next week,&uot; said Paige Budda, a Johnson Controls representative.

The energy conservation company has estimated that it could save the city more than $560,000 over 15 years by making the changes.

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Natchez aldermen on May 28 approved the contract pending City Attorney Walter Brown’s approval, which has not yet been given.

Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith said last month that he is concerned that the company’s estimate of savings for the city’s waterworks might not be correct.

Johnson Controls proposed the installation of a new &uot;gray water&uot; system to recycle treated wastewater in the city water plant’s treatment process. Smith is concerned that estimates of savings from using gray water may not be correct.

Budda confirmed the information the company hopes to forward next week is related to savings at the water plant.

Based on figures Johnson Controls gave city officials in a May 10 meeting, the program would be paid for with a $2,514,527 loan from the Mississippi Development Bank.

That would be paid back at a rate of $215,504 over 15 years. To guarantee the savings, the city would pay $38,800 a year to ensure performance.

For that cost, three Johnson Controls employees &045;&045; a technician, a performance insurance specialist and a service mechanic would visit the city regularly to make sure things are going according to plan, Budda said.

In addition, the city would be asked to pay $32,512 a year for citywide heating and air conditioning services, including maintenance and inspections.

The Board of Aldermen can opt to not enter into the guarantee, the heating and air services option or any part of the plan, Budda said.

The cost of the guarantee and the heating and air services option would come out of the savings the city would realize from going with the plan, she added.

Meanwhile, some improvements to be made to city facilities through Johnson Controls, such as replacement of an air conditioning unit at the city’s council chambers building, will have to wait.

Rainwater leaks around the unit, which is 28 years old, and seeps into the Natchez-Adams Metro Narcotics Task Force offices on the second floor. Installing a metal shelter over the unit has stopped the problem for now, &uot;but the unit needs to be replaced,&uot; said city Building Inspector Paul Dawes.