WEIRTON The city's finance committee voted Wednesday to support the proposed Honeywell energy project, despite some hesitation regarding the costs.
"I'm not real warm and fuzzy about this thing," Ward 3 Councilman Fred Marsh commented. "But we're like an animal backed into a corner on this one. And this is the best way out, in my opinion."
Much of the upgrades in the contract for the energy conservation project, such as lighting fixtures and boilers at Millsop Community Center, are things that must be updated eventually anyway because of current breakdowns or impending regulations.
The proposed project has an estimated cost of $2.29 million with 3 percent interest over a 15-year time span. It includes new LED traffic lights, new heating and cooling systems, thermostats for the city building; new windows and a boiler at the fire department; new lighting, new steam pool heating and domestic water heating systems for the community center; and several other general equipment replacements.
A resolution for the energy project is expected to be read at the next City Council at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Representatives from Honeywell will speak with City Council in a closed executive session prior to the meeting.
The committee also voted to enter into a contract for the purchase of a tractor for the Public Works Department to use for cutting back vegetation on roadsides. The tractor is equipped with an arm to reach further up onto hillsides and behind guard rails and will cost $105,645 from the recommended bidder on a lease. The budget initially called for a tractor at a cost of $90,000 principal, meaning about $5,440 more on lease payments will need to come out of the 2014 budget for public works.
"Technically it's over principal, but it's not over budget for the year," according to City Manager Valerie A. Means.
Marsh voted against the contract, noting that he believes it should go up for another round of bidding to try for a better price. General concern about receiving the tractor in time for spring swayed other members to vote in favor of the contract.
Resolutions were passed unanimously to purchase a mandatory respirator fit test machine for the fire department and four new Tasers for the police department. Repairs for the police department's gun range and a contract to provide consulting services to the city for medical and blood-borne pathogen requirements also were approved unanimously.
(Dalrymple can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)