Franklin Co. Schools Consider Energy Savings Proposal

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

Members of the Franklin County School Board say they need more time to consider a plan that might save the school system on energy costs.

At its work session recently, the Franklin County Board of Education heard from representatives of Energy Solutions, Inc.

Franklin County School Superintendent Dr. Ruth O’Dell said the company would upgrade the school system’s HVAC and lighting systems to more energy saving systems.

“What they would do is upgrade all of that and save us on energy costs enough to pay for it,” O’Dell said. “They guarantee that we would be able to do that. So, if you don’t save on the new energy equipment, they will give you a check.”

However, O’Dell said the catch for the school board is how to come up with the initial upfront costs.

“To pay for it up front like you have to do, you either have to borrow the money and pay it off in 15 years,” O’Dell said. “Or you can pay for it with SPLOST funds and then the money we made would go straight into the general fund.”

But at its regular meeting, several Franklin County School Board members said they were not ready to make a decision.

Board chair Joe Greene suggested they discuss the matter further at their next work session.

O’Dell said there is no time line for making a decision on the energy savings plan.