ALBANY -- Facilities Management Director Dwayne Greene outlined Monday for the Dougherty County Commission a number of ways the county is saving money through energy conservation initiatives.
Greene said the county's energy consumption had decreased 11 percent at the downtown Government Center and 5 percent in the Central Square Office Complex since HVAC improvements had been made at both locations.
"Energy consumption is lower now than it has been since we started tracking it in 2004," Greene said. "And while we've only had a short period to make comparisons, we've already saved $11,600 at the Government Center and $6,500 at Central Square."
In an update prepared for commissioners, Greene said the Facilities Management department had cut lighting use from 16 to 18 hours a day to an average of 10 by completing custodial work in daytime hours. He also lauded the replacement or retrofitting of light fixtures with more efficient fixtures and the installation of more efficient heating and cooling systems as energy savers.
"Conservation is at the forefront of this department," Greene said.
Asked if there were possible savings still on the table, Assistant County Administrator Mike McCoy interjected that he'd made contact with a firm that indicated the county might be able to save as much as $5 million through more efficient practices.
Also at the commission's business meeting, commissioners approved a rezoning request that will allow Jason and Laurie Pitts to construct an Express Mart with an adjoining fast-food restaurant at 105 N. County Line Road. The owners of County Line Grocery were granted the request on a conditional basis. They are not allowed to locate motor-vehicle sales or service facilities or a manufacturing operation at the site.
Commissioners also approved TTL of Albany's $32,535 one-year low bid for environmental monitoring services at the county landfill; OK'd an amendment that will allow Prison Health Services to make quarterly rather than monthly payments to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital for inmate health care, and approved a quit claim deed that will return land formerly used for the First Tee program to the city of Albany.
Before the business portion of the meeting, Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek recognized Lt. Danny Ball, Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick and Detective Tamiko Whitlock from his staff and others for their work in organizing and putting on the recent National Night Out celebration. Cheek said more than 700 bags of school supplies and more than 1,000 hot dogs were given away during the event.
"As a conservative estimate, I'd say this was about a $10,000 event," Cheek said. "But, because of support from the community, not one penny came out of our budget. That should give you an idea of how the community really came together for this event."
Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard replied, "That was truly a community night."