TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

July 25, 2012

Knox schools OK energy program

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff writer

The Knox County Board of Education wants to save utility expenses, and Tuesday evening, board members approved an energy school rewards program for the upcoming school year that could bring savings of $80,000 to $90,000 district-wide.

Approval came after Chris Taylor, the Multi-District Energy Manager for Knox County Public Schools along with three other school districts, made a proposal involving a school district energy team.

Each Knox County Public School would have a management team which would get students involved in saving energy costs. Taylor added the goal was to reduce energy consumption by 10 percent on each building in the schools. That reduction from each school would result in the $80,000-$90,000 in energy savings for the school system.

“Schoolchildren will learn about energy efficiency, and the energy program is based on similar programs used with success at both the Fayette County and Scott County Public Schools. It would also offset costs by KU’s proposed rate increase of 10 percent, beginning January 2013,” Taylor told board members at their regular session.

He said during the past two years, Knox County Schools has saved over $180,000 in utility expenses, with $80,000 of that coming from saving electricity. If each school participates, Taylor noted the total cost of the energy rewards program would be $8,500.

Part of the program would involve an energy contest, where at the end of the new school year, each school that reduces consumption by 10 percent would get a $500 cash-back award. He added the money would come from the energy saved by the schools over the year.

Board members also approved replacing a coolant tower at Lynn Camp High School as part of the Trane Performance Contract, as well as approving the transfer of $12,918.81 with a date of June 30 of this year, from the district’s General Fund to the Knox Central Day Care Fund. The action would cover the deficit balance at the end of the old fiscal year.

“Local day cares do not provide health care insurance. We do,” said Superintendent Walter Hulett before the vote was taken.

Other actions taken were approval of the GEAR UP Berea three-year professional development plan, which runs from 2012-2015. The approval is required as part of Knox County Schools receiving a GEAR UP grant with Berea College. Approval was also given to staffing changes, which would add extra duties for 13 employees already in the district. The money for the duties will come from the national “Race To The Top” program.

In addition, agreements with Tyler Technologies, Inc. for services; as well as the Kentucky Insurance School Boards Insurance Trust, or KISBIT, for property and liability insurance, were also approved.

Earlier, the school district’s Transportation Department was awarded “Most Improved Bus Garage” by the Kentucky Department of Education. According to Roy Prince of KDE’s division of District Support, the bus garage in Knox County showed the most improvement in areas of efficiency, including driver training, route management, support services and follow-up with reports and data needed by his office in Frankfort from the schools’ transportation staff.

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