Energy-savings contract will lead to Pa. jail upgrades

Biggest upgrade is replacement of 39 rooftop heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units with energy-efficient models

By David Singleton
The Times-Tribune

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — The Lackawanna County commissioners on Wednesday approved an energy-savings performance contract with a Harrisburg company that will lead to major upgrades at the county jail and result in a savings of almost $1 million over 20 years.

Under the agreement, which has been in the works since 2012, PPL Energy Services subsidiary McClure Co. will be required to make up the difference if the amount the county saves on an annual basis does not meet projections.

“Because this is a performance-based contract, we are obligated by law to provide you with guaranteed energy savings,” Christopher Stultz, McClure project development engineer, told the commissioners.

Under an energy-savings performance contract, a government entity enters an agreement with a private company to implement energy conservation measures, leveraging the savings to pay over time for any capital improvements and other costs associated with the work.

“At the end of the lifetime of this project, it will have paid for itself,” Commissioner Jim Wansacz said.

The bulk of the work will take place at the jail on North Washington Avenue in Scranton.

The most significant upgrade will be the replacement of 39 rooftop heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units with new, energy-efficient models.

Warden Robert McMillan said the aging commercial-grade units, which have been in place since the prison’s construction, were never intended for use in a correctional facility and are in constant need of repair.

McClure projects that replacing paper towels with electric hand dryers in the jail’s staff and visitors areas will save $15,000 annually. The company will install power and cable infrastructure to support a future inmate cable television system that is expected to generate more than $54,000 annually.

Other improvements will range from replacement of the prison refrigeration system to plumbing and laundry upgrades, each of which McClure projects will produce hundreds of thousands of dollars in operational savings.

As part of the contract, which Mr. Stultz described as all-inclusive, McClure will purchase, install and maintain the necessary equipment in addition to managing the project.

”You only have one point of contact,” he said. “It comes back to us. We are the ones who are ultimately responsible.”

In addition to approving the contract, the commissioners introduced an ordinance authorizing two separate lease-purchase agreements with McClure totaling $8 million for equipment acquisition.

Over 20 years, McClure projects energy and operational savings of almost $17 million against county expenditures of just under $16 million, resulting in a net savings to the county of $988,244.

The commissioners also:

¦ Introduced an ordinance to bar parking along Glenmaura National Boulevard in Moosic between Route 502 and the entrance to Glenmaura National Golf Course.

¦ Approved a $9,550 contract with Tri-State Data Inc., Coatesville, to conduct traffic counts for the Regional Planning Commission.

¦ Entered an agreement to house juvenile offenders as necessary at the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center at a cost of $280.32 per juvenile per day.

¦ Implemented a “code red” alert to notify residents when a heat index of 100 degrees or higher is predicted.

¦ Appointed Gary M. Smedley, Carbondale, to the Multi-Purpose Stadium Authority through 2016 to fill the unexpired term of the late Joseph Nocera.

¦ Presented a “Good Works in Lackawanna County” certificate of recognition to the Kiwanis Club of Scranton.

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