New Castle News

Closer Look

July 2, 2014

County to continue saving energy

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County is about to enter the second phase of a major energy saving upgrade for its buildings.

Joe Price of Johnson Controls, a global company with offices in Youngstown, told the county commissioners Tuesday that the program started in 2008 for $2.2 million has been more successful than anticipated.

The upgrades done at that time in the county government complex were guaranteed to save $620,000 in energy costs, he said, and to date, they have saved $687,000. Work done in Phase 1 included comprehensive upgrades on heating, air conditioning and other energy systems.

The next phase will cost $3,032,432. It will include new boilers in both sections of the government center, heating and air conditioning upgrades at the county jail as well as kitchen work to save energy, and indoor and outdoor lighting and sign upgrades for the entire government complex.

These upgrades, Price said, are estimated to generate $1.4 million in savings over 15 years.

Commissioner Dan Vogler said the cost of Phase 2 will be included in a bond issue that will be floated for the new public safety building. Final action on the contract is expected next week.

The commissioners also approved new limits on required bidding for county purchases as enacted by the state Legislature in 2011.

The county now has to advertise for sealed bids for any job costing more than $19,100. For jobs between $10,300 and $19,099, they must obtain written quotes. Anything under $10,300 needs neither bids nor quotes.

The amounts regularly change based on consumer prices under the legislation. The former bidding limit was $18,750.

Also, the commissioners agreed to extend a Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development contract for a housing rehabilitation program for three months to allow completion and audit of the program.

According to Kim Hnida, regional healthy homes coordinator for Lawrence County Social Services, the program provides funds for permanently disabled low-income people to construct ramps, chair lifts, grab bars or other alterations in their homes for accessibility.

The program provided $300,000 this year and served 40 households. Hnida said the extension was needed to finish the projects because the funds arrived late. Hnida said after the meeting that application will likely be made for another grant. Low-income disabled people in need of these funds should call the Lawrence County Community Action Partnership at (724) 656-0090.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • well.jpg Lawyers to address fracking

    Lawyers will address public concerns about oil and gas regulations and other topics at a program next month. Oday Salim and Megan Lovett of Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services in Pittsburgh and attorney Michael Oliverio of Lynch Weis in Cranberry Township are to present the program.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yauger.jpg Yauger enters guilty plea in federal court

    The former executive director of the local intermediate unit has entered a guilty plea in federal court.

     

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lottery.jpg Lottery officials: Seniors should get smaller payout

    State lottery officials say less means more for seniors. The lottery took in $3.8 billion in sales last year and will give more than $1 billion of it — or 28.5 percent — to programs for senior citizens.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • phone.jpg Attorney general warns of phone scams

    Assorted scams in the commonwealth have prompted a warning from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane said several scams have been reported to the Bureau of Consumer Protection in recent weeks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • disability.jpg Disabilities group unveils new icon

    Disability Options Network is joining forces with the Accessible Icon Project. Officials of the community organization, located at 1929 E. Washington St., said its new icon will replace the current international symbol for accessibility.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Auditor: State doesn’t have enough inspectors to monitor wells

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • manna.jpg John K. Manna: Measuring the money

    Should we even bother to have an election in November? By some accounts, maybe the results of some contests are already in.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • shooting.jpg Man injured in city shooting

    A man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday morning following a shooting on West Lincoln Avenue.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • police.jpg Police: Man pulls gun on construction workers

    Construction workers in Neshannock Township flagged down police Thursday claiming a business owner had pulled a gun on them.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage