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County upgrades completed for energy efficiency

Upgrades completed last week to improve the energy efficiency in seven county-owned buildings will provide significant recurring savings.
Purchasing Director Willie Shrewsbury said a total of 1,770 fixtures were replaced in the Agriculture Extension Office, the Courthouse, the Washington County Office Building, the Health Department, the Highway Department, and the Gray and Jonesborough libraries.
In addition, 100 occupancy sensors that detect movement and heat were installed in the buildings.
If no movement is recognized after 20 minutes, the lights will turn off automatically and remain off until someone comes back into the room.
Excel Energy Group, of Arkansas, provided the labor, and First Tennessee Development District supervised the project.
Improvements were paid for with a $100,000 grant Mayor Dan Eldridge secured from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Grant guidelines required the work be completed by the end of this month.
During the May meeting of the Budget Committee, Eldridge told members Shrewsbury pursued additional funds for the upgrades by applying for a reimbursable grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority in the form of a one-time rebate.
Shrewsbury said TVA representatives visited the county to tour the proposed sites, and will return for a post-construction review.
The rebate from TVA is expected to cover the $140,000 budgeted for the project. Any funds over and above the total cost must be returned to the state.