Mason County Schools refinances agreement

By Brittany Hively - [email protected]

POINT PLEASANT — In 2016, the Mason County Board of Education entered into a lease purchase agreement for an energy conservation program, this year the agreement was refinanced reportedly saving the county thousands of dollars.

During that time, Mason County Schools selected Wendel — which offers services in construction, engineering, architecture and energy efficiency — to complete an audit and develop an energy savings plan or what Wendel calls an energy performance contract (EPC) on its website.

“They went around the schools and they made some improvements,” Superintendent Keith Burdette said. “I think [they] made some changes in plumbing and lighting and things like that.”

The audit included annual energy savings, operation and maintenance savings, implementations costs and utility energy rebates for each energy conservation measures (ECM).

The project cost approximately $614,880, according to the Wendel website.

“They entered into a lease purchase agreement for that,” Burdette said. “The interest rate on that at that point in time was 3.45%.”

Wendel reported on its website that the project was completed on schedule and on budget.

“The Comprehensive Energy Audit focused on the following energy efficiency and facility improvement measures: lighting and occupancy sensor upgrades, boiler burner replacement, boiler plant replacements, steam trap upgrades and replacements, thermostatic radiator controls, window AC control optimization, digital air handler controls upgrade, high efficiency DHW replacement and premium efficient motor replacement,” according to the Wendel website.

Burdette said McLiney and Company helped the county find the potential savings and after looking into the possibility the Board realized that there was a chance at “significant savings.” McLiney and Bowles Rice LLP worked together to reach out to financial institutions, Burdette said the original lender, Ohio Valley Bank, worked with the school system.

“We became aware of that just recently and so we chased that down [and] pursued it,” Burdette said. “[We] really want to tip our hat to Ohio Valley Bank, they had the current lease and were wiling to renegotiate that.”

The renegotiation allowed the lease to stay with Ohio Valley Bank.

“They dropped their rate from 3.45 down to 1.45 for us,” Burdette said. “Over the course of the life of that, that’s going to save us $238,766. That was a great savings.”

According to Wendel the the project is anticipated to have $3.7 million in “ECMs and building improvements, while leveraging approximately $4M in total savings to offset the total project costs.”

The projected energy savings per year from Wendel are 4,659 kilowatts, 3,357,706 kilowatt-hour, 3,114 metric million British thermal units, 1,635 kilogallon and $307,653.

“This is the kind of good news we like to get out there,” Burdette said. “To show people, we’re trying to do good things. We’re being frugal and mindful, the county is so supportive of the school system and we want to find ways that we can save some money. We appreciate their [county] support and are trying to be good stewards of what they give us to work with.”

Burdette said good things are happening in Mason County Schools right now.

“There are so many good things that are going on and it’s [an] exciting time,” Burdette said. “Especially on top of all this that’s getting ready to happen with the Nucor stuff. I mean, I think you’re about to see the county really, really launch, to take off. It’s just flat out exciting.”

© 2022, Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Brittany Hively

[email protected]

Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.

Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.