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BVA OKs contract for energy services

| Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 1:27 a.m.

In an effort to revitalize district buildings, the Belle Vernon Area School Board voted unanimously to approve an energy service contract with Chevron USA Inc. to provide comprehensive energy services.

The program, which comes at no cost to taxpayers, will provide numerous energy savings to the district, which in turn pays for the program.

“We put the money up front,” Superintendent Dr. John Wilkinson said.

“With the money up front, there is no cost to the taxpayers of the district. If something should happen that our savings are not enough to cover the debt incurred, the government will pick that up for us.”

Alterations and technology updates include:

• Insulation buildings or systems.

• Storm windows or doors.

• Weather stripping.

• Multi-glazed windows.

• Heat-reflective windows and door system modifications.

• Automated or computerized energy control systems.

• Heating,ventilation and air conditioning modification or replacement.

• Replacement of light fixtures and modification to increase energy efficiency.

• Energy recovery systems; energy conservation measures that provide operating cost reductions.

• Alterations required to implement energy conservation measures.

• Installation of energy information and systems to monitor consumption.

• Indoor air-quality improvements.

• Day lighting systems.

• Renewable and/or on-site distributed power systems.

• Water and sewer conservation measures including plumbing fixtures and infrastructure.

• Equipment upgrades to improve accuracy of billable revenue-generating systems.

• Automated, electronic, or remotely controlled systems that can reduce operating costs.

“We can get all these things,” Wilkinson said. “For instance, we have 96,800 square feet of roof that we have to repair as well as 6,300 light fixtures that will be replaced with new, energy efficient ones.

“The money we save is going to pay for the other things we need to do. In 15-20 years, we make our money back that we put up.”

The financed amount of the contract is $4,337,454 plus construction period interest of $84,308, totaling $4,421,762.

Paying the bills

The board unanimously agreed to issue general obligation bonds for up to $12 million.

The debt incurred will replace debt that carries higher interest rates.

“We're just replacing old debt with new debt,” said Chris Bamber, senior analyst for Public Financial Management Inc. “All this resolution does is start the process in refinancing the notes and bonds.

The goal will be to refinance bond issues from 2007 and 2008.

In other business, the board accepted a $161,000 bid for sale of a former bus garage to ITAMA Development LP. The garage is located at 103 Main St., Pricedale (Rostraver Township) and was sold by a 7-2 vote.

Directors Aaron Bialon and John Nusser cast the dissenting votes. Voting in favor of both were board President Dale Patterson and directors Joe Grata, Kimberly Ringstad Gray, Toni-Jo Kunka, and Ed Naylor.

Meetings set

Wilkinson said he will conduct more “town-hall” meetings to keep residents informed of progress made throughout the district.

He discussed the reason for keeping students in school during harsh weather Friday.

“A lot of kids were dismissing at noon and 1 p.m.,” Wilkinson said. “I had to make a decision on what I feel is best for our kids and our staff. The information I was getting is that the roads were actually at their worst during those times.

“I discussed it with Mr. Bashada and we decided that it was best to let the road crews do their thing and keep the kids in school until normal dismissal.”

Dave Bashada is the district's transportation supervisor.

“They were safe, they were in a warm building, and we have two weeks worth of food in case we get locked in,.” Wilkinson said. “I just thought it would be more dangerous to send the kids out early.”

In other business, the board hired David Auria as a full-time computer technician at a prorated salary of $41,500 for the remainder of the school year and appointed Tamara Scheuermann, Shannon Sellew and Deana Cline as long-term substitute teachers.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2667 or

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