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Mon., Aug. 31
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Project expected to save Potsdam School District $45,000 per year


POTSDAM - While district officials have been saying the school district’s upcoming capital project would reduce energy costs and help save the district’s taxpayers money, until this week they hadn’t yet actually received any indication of just how much they could expect energy costs to decrease.

Board of education member Wade A. Davis, who chairs the district’s buildings and ground committee said he’s finally received those numbers from the district’s architect, SEI Design, a firm with offices in Albany, Rochester and Syracuse.

According to the architect, Mr. Davis said the district can expect to save $682,350 in reduced energy costs over the next 15 years as a direct result of the project. When an additional $75,000 grant from NYSERDA and $17,000 in reduced maintenance costs are also included, the savings over the life of the project are an estimated $774,350.

And while the $18 million project has a local share of just over $2.5 million, Mr. Davis said that number can actually be reduced to $1,745,350.

“That’s the net local share after the savings,” Mr. Davis said.

Superintendent Patrick H. Brady said he was glad to hear official numbers put to the savings, and he hopes that’s something people will keep in mind when they head to the polls to vote on the project.

“Three-quarters of a million dollars is a significant sum when you’re only talking about a local share of $2.5 million,” he said.

A public hearing on the project will be held at 7 p.m. Monday. District residents will then decide the fate of the project on Dec. 12. Polls will be open at the school from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Items included in the project to help reduce energy consumption include roof replacements, heat distribution system improvements, interior lighting replacement and the installation f insulation, new windows and siding.

While there is a $2.5 million share, the project will not increase taxes, as it coincides with debt from previous projects being paid off.

The $18 million project includes $3.1 million in work at Lawrence Avenue Elementary.

Work there includes interior lighting replacement, roof replacement, food service equipment replacement, carpet replacement and ceiling system improvements.

Three million will also be spent at AA Kingston Middle School, where interior lighting replacement, roof replacement, electric distribution system upgrades, kitchen equipment replacement, back parking lot reconstruction and concrete sidewalk replacement are all planned.

The bulk of the work, $10.6 million will occur at the high school, where interior lighting replacement, siding, window and door replacement, roof replacement, heat distribution system improvements, auditorium improvements and kitchen upgrades are all planned.

The project also includes $1.3 million to upgrade the district’s fire alarm system, replace the roof on the bus garage, storm water upgrades, repaving the bus garage, and replacing and relocating the district’s fuel tank.

Voting for the project is open to any U.S. citizen 18 and older who had been a resident of the district for 30 days or more. You do not need to be a registered voter to participate in this referendum.

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