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Landfill gas-to-energy program lauded by EPA

Marine base, county’s joint clean energy program gets rave reviews

Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany Installation and Environment Division Director Fred Broome talks with Dougherty County commissioners about the base/county joint landfill gas-to-energy project Monday. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany Installation and Environment Division Director Fred Broome talks with Dougherty County commissioners about the base/county joint landfill gas-to-energy project Monday. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

ALBANY — Officials with Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany told Dougherty County commissioners Monday the base is continuing its ongoing efforts to set national standards for clean, renewable energy at all U.S. military installations.

Fred Broome, director of the base’s Installation and Environment Division, told commissioners the joint MCLB/Dougherty County landfill gas-to-energy project had recently received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star combined heat and power award. The recognition has become commonplace for the base, which has received six other awards, including accolades from the Department of Energy and the U.S. Navy.

“We’re proud of this recognition, but we’re not done,” Broome said. “We’ve purchased a second landfill gas generator and will begin installation soon, and we’re working with Procter & Gamble on another partnership that will impact the base. These projects save the federal government money, it moves us toward getting off fossil fuels and it fosters strong ties within the community.”

District 6 Commissioner Jack Stone offered a comment that Broome said was another important element of the success of the clean energy efforts at the base.

“When (the Federal government) starts talking about base closings, be sure and send them a copy of this (information),” Stone said.

Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard lauded base leadership for its clean energy efforts.

“When that second generator is installed, it will help pull 30 percent of the base’s electricity,” Sinyard said. “It makes a huge difference (with federal officials) when you go way, way, way beyond what anyone else is doing.”

The commission got more good news at its work session when Mauldin and Jenkins CPA firm senior manager Craig Moye told the board it had received a “great audit” for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013.

“We have issued an unmodified audit report, a ‘clean opinion,’” Moye told the board.

The CPA firm senior manager noted that the board had under spent its budget by around $2.7 million and added some $3.5 million to its fund balance.

“This is (county finance director) Martha’s (Hendley) first year of working with us on this audit, and she and her staff did a great job,” Moye said. “The ‘findings’ we cite have to do with reporting of your judicial finances, and we’re aware that there’s not much you can do there.

“All-in-all, this was a great audit report.”

In a report presented by Public Works Director Larry Cook, the commission learned that, among other accomplishments, the department had cleaned 84 acres of canals during 2013, had cleared 4.1 tons of litter from county property and had completed 615 miles of right-of-way mowing. The department’s 49 employees had also had a hand, through their environmental control efforts, in helping keep the county free of reported West Nile virus cases.

“Our folks are pretty much unheralded, but we’re proud of all they do,” Cook told the board. He also recognized Public Works’ Employee of the Year, heavy equipment operator Robert “Jack” Loud, and Supervisor of the Year, stormwater technician Jason Hillhouse.

The commission also discussed a change order that would allow Jim Boyd Construction to extend storm drainage improvements on Holly Drive for another 700 feet. County Administrator Richard Crowdis said the bid on the project, which got under way Monday, came in significantly lower than projected costs. Thus, more than $100,000 in funding would be available to extend the project.

Boyd officials told the county that extending the drainage and elevation of Holly Drive all the way to Tarasavage Road would cost an additional $57,458.

“If you approve this measure, we can do continuously what we were going to have to eventually do anyway,” Crowdis said.

The commission will vote on the matter at its business meeting next Monday.