County expects energy savings
by JOYANNA LOVE, Banner Staff Writer
Aug 09, 2013 | 788 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Additional savings are expected from the Bradley County Schools energy management program following operational changes in the manager’s procedures and equipment used.

Adjustments include providing a company vehicle, laptop and gas card for the energy manager. A travel plan to decrease the miles driven will also be developed.

“We’ve made some changes that I think have been overdue, and I think will help to provide even more cost avoidance in the future,” said Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel.

Questions about the energy management position arose from the Bradley County Board of Education while members viewed the budget. Board Chairman Charlie Rose said during a board meeting Thursday that personnel issues were normally handled by McDaniel without the board getting involved. He said the only reason the board had discussed the issue was because it came up as a budgetary question.

Rose said he had requested that the board let him look into the matter so that questions could be addressed.

Rose said he met with McDaniel and the energy manager. He also reviewed six years’ worth of mileage reimbursement documentation to answer board members

“The director was very cooperative, as was the energy manager in this matter,” Rose said.

In a previous meeting, board member Nicholas Lillios had questions about the number of miles driven by the manager on weekends and holidays.

He also asked why after a trip to a school the manager would return to the central office before going to another school.

“I asked him about that, and he said he wanted to get a picture in real time if what he was reading at the school site was what his computer program was telling him — if they were in agreement with each other,” Rose said.

A laptop being provided for the position should eliminate the need for this travel, officials said.

Board member Chris Turner said he “was pleased with the changes” being made to increase efficiency.

The job description for the energy manager states there will be odd hours and work on the weekends. It also states that 80 percent of the work would be done at the schools, not in his office. The energy manager monitors equipment at the schools, controls the heating and air conditioning units when school is not in session and encourages teachers to follow energy conservation practices.

Updates on maintenance projects were also given at the board meeting. Paving projects at Ocoee Middle School and Prospect Elementary School are in the final completion stages. Fencing has been installed at Park View Elementary. Fencing work is nearly complete at Bradley Central High School. Oak Grove Elementary School has new canopies. Work continues on roofing projects on schools throughout the system, including the cafeteria roof at Lake Forest Middle School. McDaniel said maintenance costs at the school are not as high as had been mentioned by Bradley County Commission members.

The board also voted to try to sell a damaged portable classroom.