Aug 262012

By Linda Kor
In a work session held on Tuesday, the Joseph City School District Governing Board gave consideration to a proposed contract presented by Midstate Energy.
The company originally presented an energy saving performance proposal to the board in October of last year, showing how it could optimize Joseph City’s school facilities and lower the district’s utility costs with no out of pocket expense. In that proposal the company guaranteed that savings would meet or exceed annual pay-ments to cover all project costs, which usually run a contract term of 15 years. If savings don’t materialize, Midstate Energy pays the difference, not the district. Midstate also provides training for employees on how to make the most of the system. The proposal detailed cost savings through items such as replacing nine of the district’s older HVAC units, installation of an energy management system district-wide with demand control capability, upgrading light fixtures and outdoor lighting, installing occupancy sensors for HVAC and light con-trol, installing vending machine power management and making improvements to existing buildings, such as by replacing weather stripping.
The board had already eliminated some of the items where the savings could not be realized for, in some instances, 30 or more years, and the proposal was adjusted for a total cost of $1.1 million. With that proposal the company estimated that after 15 years the savings would be approximately $1.5 million for an approximate difference of $400,000 that would be saved by the district after the loan was paid.
Before a group of approximately 40 residents and two representatives from Midstate who attended the work session, board member Ralph Bushman detailed questions and concerns the board and he still had regarding the proposal. It appeared that a majority of the concerns were regarding inflated savings he felt were part of the proposal due to estimates in interest rates, as well as inflated estimates on in-house costs.
A number of residents also expressed their disapproval of the proposed contract.
Andrew Bushman called the entire proposal “bogus,” and said he felt the company was not presenting facts.
Bob Martineau told the board that he had replaced many of the AC/heating units himself to top grade units 12 years ago at no cost to the district. “I did this on my time because I care about my community, and it’s not rocket science to teach one of your existing employees how to operate it,” he stated.
Ralph Bushman informed those present that Midstate would be given the opportunity to address the con-cerns, and that the board will continue to review and refine the proposal to determine whether the outcome would be of benefit to the district.
Prior to the work session the board conducted a regular meeting and approved the appointments of Rachele Baldwin, Joseph City Junior/Senior High School accompanist; Sheri Brennan, junior varsity volleyball coach; Garrett Gardner and Emily Hunt, both as student auditorium workers; and Kendra Wouter, JCHS assistant soft-ball coach. The board also approved the resignation of Aaron Westover as the JCHS softball coach and the auditor services of Heinfeld, Meech and Co.
During a meeting held Aug. 14, the board:
* Approved the appointment of Kent Baldwin as Joseph City High School head volleyball coach; Mandy Bennett, Joseph City Elementary School special education aide; Brent Chase, Navajo language/culture class instructor; Mary Davis, cafeteria cook; Ariel Holmes, Terry Larson, Kaity Shaw-Warner, Kari Bushman, Tonya Crosby, Wendy Fenn, Ericka Hunt, Kimber Tuckfield, Holli Turley and Gayla Smith, substitute teachers; Ver-linda Turley, JCES reading aide; John Bryant, JCHS head varsity football coach; Tiffany Bushman, substitute teacher and/or secretary; Kacey Halbison, JCHS assistant softball coach; and Andrea Miller, JCHS special edu-cation aide.
* Approved JCHS football volunteers Jim Boose, Tim Poudrier and Bob Winner.
* Approved the 2013 Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology (NAVIT) intergovernmental agreement.
* Approved board travel to the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) Navajo County Workshop scheduled Oct. 24 in Holbrook, and the annual ASBA Law Conference scheduled Sept. 6-8.
* Approved the Teacher Effectiveness Performance Evaluation System handbook.