To the editor:
I am urging my fellow City Councilors to approve an agreement with Ameresco, a company which helps communities like ours save money on energy while getting important and necessary fixes on our buildings done at no cost to the taxpayer.
The concept is simple. Ameresco audited our buildings and found over 55 areas where some fixes could made that would result in almost $300,000 savings a year. The city takes out a low-interest loan to make the necessary repairs to the buildings and the savings will more than cover the annual loan repayment. If we don’t do this, the buildings don’t get necessary upgrades and we’re literally blowing money out of our less-than energy efficient windows at the Marsh School and Quinn Buildings, as well as others.
These are capital improvements projects that need to be done. At best, we can get one or two done a year. Under the agreement with Ameresco, we can do all the projects in two years. There are additional benefits too. Work done at the city’s ice rink will allow us to extend hours at the facility and allow more of our kids ice time and increase revenues there as more groups can rent the rink.
The energy-reduction in our buildings helps the planet. The savings help our schools. The savings help our city. And it’s not a one-year savings. It’s money we can bank on year after year as energy prices continue to climb. I urge my fellow councilors to join me in voting to approve this contract with Ameresco.