Park board reconsiders energy deal

WEIRTON – At its November meeting, members of the Weirton Park Board voted to move forward on a proposed energy reduction project with Honeywell, which has since been removed from city council’s agenda pending further negotiations.

Several current problems at Millsop Community Center would be addressed by the project, board members explained. The deal would include a comprehensive lighting retrofit, a new pool heating system, a separate domestic hot water system and a new, more efficient boiler.

The cost of the Park Board’s portion of the project is estimated at $668,824 on a 15-year loan. Honeywell will guarantee at least $32,000 in energy and operational savings and monitor energy expenditure for the 15 years.

Board member Ed Bowman was absent at November’s meeting, but he made his concerns about the contract known on Wednesday.

“In all honesty, with all the respect to the board members, something like that is going to take a lot of time to understand it, to deal with these people, to make a very informed decision. So if you have doubts, it’s not too late to rescind our vote and back out of it,” Bowman said, addressing Ward 7 Councilman and Park Board Director Terry Weigel.

“I do know that I have to get the ball rolling on this water tank here at the community center either way,” Weigel responded.

Bowman specifically asked Weigel if he still recommends approving the deal or backing out.

“At this point I’ll let council see what they’re doing,” Weigel answered.

Bowman suggested that board members “get their heads together” on the project and take a deeper look into the contract in order to arrive at a more confident decision at the next meeting.

Ward 1 Councilman Ronnie Jones noted that he does not expect the issue to be voted on by city council until February or March.

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