County plans conversion to gas

BY STACI WILSON

Over the next couple of months, three companies will be doing a lot of work in the courthouse complex to begin addressing faults in the existing infrastructure and preparing for a conversion from coal heat to natural gas.

The commissioners approved a $76,000 project development agreement with Johnson Controls Inc. to provide for the improvements, as part of the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program. The county expects to recoup some of its costs in energy and operational savings over the next 20 years, according to the information on the May 27 meeting agenda.

Nick Scracik, of Johnson Controls said the coal boiler in the Warren Building – the former Lake Avenue school building connected to the main courthouse by an annex – is the first priority. The coal furnace, he said, would not be able to pass state permitting requirements.

In addition to the Warren Building, the boilers in the courthouse and at the old jail will also be replaced, and the heating/cooling system problems in the buildings addressed as part of the project.

After the design work, Scracik told the commissioners he anticipated the project to take about 12 months.

The county will move from its coal-fired heat to natural gas.

Leatherstocking Gas Company is expected to have gas lines installed in Montrose by August – in time for this year’s heating season.

Audience member Vera Scroggins asked if the commissioners had explored any “alternative energy.”

Commissioner Alan Hall answered, “We’re using natural gas. We’ve looked at other alternatives.”

The courthouse complex isn’t the only county property needing work.

The commissioners signed bridge rehabilitation design review proposals from Greenman-Pedersen for County Bridge No. 15, located on Lovers Lane over Trowbridge Creek in Great Bend Twp., and County Bridge No. 36, located on Newhart Rd., over Middle Branch of the Wyalusing Creek in Rush Twp.

Each review cost $4,500 and will be paid with Liquid Fuels funds.

Bids are being accepted for a paving project on upper Monument Street, Old Jail and by the 88 Chenango Street property. The paving project will also be paid from Liquid Fuels.

Agenda items to approve the purchase of a tractor and a boom mower were tabled.

The commissioners approved the purchase of time keeping software and hardware for about $26,000 from Time Clock Plus, of San Antonio, Texas.

The purchase of the County Suite Sheriff program for the sheriff’s office was also approved. The current programming system needed to be replaced.

The program costs about $30,000 and will be paid utilizing Act 13 funds.

Alan Aronowitz, of New Milford, was appointed to service on the Susquehanna County Tourism Committee.

Appointments were also made to the Susquehanna County Emergency Preparedness Task Force for 2014-15; and the Local Emergency Planning Committee for 2014-15.