Posen board accepts bids

POSEN – Members of Posen Consolidated Schools Board of Education selected companies to replace some obsolete lights and inefficient boilers at their recent meeting.

Board members chose Standard Electric Company to supply new LED lights to the district and K&K Electric to install them, Superintendent John Palmer said. The board also selected Weinkauf Plumbing and Heating to install two new 700,000-British thermal unit boilers to heat the district’s two gymnasiums and some older classrooms. Both projects should result in considerable energy savings and have the potential to pay for themselves in less than 10 years.

Saginaw-based Standard Electric Co. has a branch in Alpena, and Weinkauf Plumbing and Heating is a family-run Alpena business, according to each company’s website. K&K Electric is based in Posen, and each of the three companies gave the lowest bid, Palmer said.

For $89,530, Standard Electric will supply light fixtures and bulbs for the school’s two gyms, and put new LED bulbs in the rest of the building’s existing fixtures, Palmer said. These bulbs will replace a kind of flourescent bulb that is no longer made and use about half as much energy. K&K Electric will install the new lights for $15,811.

“Personally, I think it’s a golden opportunity,” he said. “The lighting system here, you can’t buy T-12 fluorescent bulbs any more. They don’t make them. Once our supply here is gone we don’t have any way of replacing the bulbs, so we had to do something.”

The district sought the advice of an energy auditor from Presque Isle Electric & Gas Cooperative, who confirmed the new lighting will pay for itself in seven to eight years. The district currently spends about $2,400 on lighting.

Plus, the district will get a rebate of $13,209 from PIE&G for choosing the energy-efficient lights, Palmer said. To get the rebate, they must be installed by the end of the year.

Posen also will save on energy costs after it installs two new boilers, Palmer said. Weinkauf Plumbing and Heating will supply and install them for $39,634. The current boilers are around 20 years old, and replacing them will save the district about 40 percent on its gas bill.

“That runs us about $2,500 per month,” he said. “If we had done the whole (heating system), it could be much better, but the other boilers we got here are pretty good boilers yet, they’re not that old.”

The district will use its sinking fund and money from a previous bond issue to pay for the projects, Palmer said.

Board President Ken Wozniak said the new boilers should be installed by the end of Thanksgiving break, with work set to begin today.

“It’s nice getting these projects going and helping the school,” he said. “I’m really glad that the local (bids) were lower.”

In other business:

  • the district received a positive audit report on its use of federal Title I funds, Palmer said. The letter from the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Field Services said the district is complying with state and federal requirements on how the funds are spent.
  • board members will hear an audit of district finances at their Dec. 16 meeting, Palmer said.
  • Kay Zwolinski will volunteer in the school library two or three days a week, Palmer said. It will be open to students and the public when opened, although the schedule has not yet been determined.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.