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Energy contract could save Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District millions
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Scott Brinton/Herald
Frederick Seeba of BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers made a presentation on energy performance contracts before the Central District Board of Education last Wednesday.

The energy performance contract, Seeba stressed, would carry no cost for the district. If it fell short of its energy-saving projections, the energy service company would pay the district the difference, he said.

The Central District must issue a request for proposals from energy service companies, which would bid on the project. In addition to Johnson Controls, such companies include Con Edison and Honeywell, among others. The Board of Education would then select a company to undertake the energy-saving work. The New York State Department of Education must sign off on any EPC.

Cynthia Regal, the Central District’s deputy superintendent for business, said that Bellmore-Merrick signed an energy performance contract to upgrade its lighting several years ago, resulting in savings. It then upgraded its heating systems, paying for the improvements through the budget. So, for many years, energy service company representatives said they felt there wasn’t a great deal of additional savings to be reaped in Bellmore-Merrick through another EPC. New, state-of-the-art energy-saving technologies, however, could bring significant savings, Regal said.

It is critical, both DeTommaso and Regal said, to keep the proposed bond — and thus property taxes — at the lowest possible level. Regal said it is particularly important because Bellmore-Merrick has not bonded to fund a capital project since Kennedy High School was built in 1966. The Central District, she said, has no debt, which she noted is unusual for a district as large as Bellmore-Merrick.

If all goes well, the district could bring a bond proposal to a public vote in November or December, said Roger Smith, also of BBS Architects, at the July 24 Board of Education meeting. Right now, the board is reviewing plans for a possible bond. Public meetings are expected in September.


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There are many issues to consider: 1. If a very efficient building operates between $1.10 - $1.20, why is the expected operations at $1.26. 2. The main point was operating the buildings electricity at lower costs, where does new science laboratories, bathrooms and synthetic-turf athletic fields fit in to this electric saving operation. 3. Have there been other inquiries with other firms that would save electricity costs. Johnson is one company, a comparison should be made. 4. Has solar energy been considered. There are many rebates and tax breaks, as well. 5 Synthetic turf is just that synthetic. Have there been enough studies to make any determination regarding the effects it could have on the environmental air quality and the long term effects on the health of the students that would be rolling in these chemicals. Aren't there negative enough health risks as it is, than to have our children ingesting these chemicals, as well as, adults. 7. As a tax paying resident of Bellmore, and the economy being unpredictable, perhaps sticking to one issue, saving money on electricity, should be our only interest at the present time. Air conditioning is a modern wonder that keeps us cool in the spring, summer and fall. That could be important for students' ability to stay focused and improve their academics.

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