The borough is headed in the right direction when it comes to energy usage, according to a presentation Monday.
Stacy Richards, of the Susquehanna Economic Development Authority-Council of Governments, reviewed a program that Borough Council had approved a year ago to develop an informational tool that would provide information on energy usage in the borough. The program was funded by a municipal assistance program grant provided to the department of community and economic development.
“Most municipalities don’t always know how much they’re spending on energy costs,” Richards said, “or they find it difficult to make capital investments on programs that are the most beneficial.”
What separated the borough, she said, is that borough staff as well as the council have been very involved with tracking energy usage as well as being involved in a climate change plan, greenhouse gas management and energy reduction strategies.
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The three largest uses of energy within the borough are municipal buildings, parking garages and street lights, Richards said, according to a chart that measured usage from April 2011 to March 2013. The charts also indicated that borough usage had declined from 2012 to 2013.
For future energy management, Richards recommended the board budget for a 20 percent increase in cost for 2015. This reflected the already-anticipated 15 percent West Penn Power price increase.
Borough Manager Tom Fountaine explained that there are already several energy-saving measures going into the borough at this time. Parking garages are set to be retro-fitted with low-energy consuming lights such as LEDs, as well as motion sensors to reduce lighting when a level is not in use.
In other business, the council unanimously authorized waiving noise ordinance requirements from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. for one night between Aug. 16 and Aug. 21 in order for the water authority contractor to resurface College Avenue between Hiester Street and Atherton Street.
“In all likelihood, it’s going to be next Monday (Aug. 18),” said water authority executive director Tom Lichman. “That’s what we’re shooting for.”
The noisy part of the work should end at around 5 or 6 p.m.
The wide window of time is in case weather prevents them from finishing the project in a single day, Lichman said.
If weather this week delays the prep work, it could push the project back next week, which would threaten cutting into student move-in weekend scheduled for Aug. 22-23.
Councilman Tom Daubert stressed that the work needs to be done as soon as possible to avoid Penn State’s move-in weekend.