Pulaski County JPs back rule to spend $1M on buildings' plan

Quorum Court voted unanimously to back an ordinance that would finance the final leg of a building project.

By Emma Pettit
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Pulaski County's legislative body supported spending about $1 million over the next five years to finish transforming county buildings into energy efficient facilities.

On Tuesday, the 13 present members of the county's 15-member Quorum Court voted unanimously to back an ordinance that would finance the final leg of the project. To pass, the ordinance needs to be approved at the July 24 meeting.

In August of last year, Pulaski County entered into a nearly $5 million contract with Entegrity Energy Partners LLC to revamp old facilities, replace lighting and water fixtures and undergo other environmentally friendly renovations. The Quorum Court previously appropriated about $4 million toward the endeavor.

Upgrades were made, or are being made, to some 40 county-owned buildings on 14 different campuses, county attorney Adam Fogleman said. Among the improvements is the addition of low flow faucets, shower heads and toilets and better air conditioning systems at the jail and the circuit courthouse.

To finance the project, Pulaski County took advantage of the Arkansas Guaranteed Energy Cost Savings Act. The law requires the county's contract with Entegrity to be budget neutral, which means the utility savings Pulaski County will eventually reap exceeds the $5 million price tag.

"It pays for itself," Fogleman told the Quorum Court.

The county can't gauge how much money has been saved, yet, because there's still work being done, Comptroller Mike Hutchens said. Once the renovations are completed in the next 45 days or so, the county can take some measurements, he said.

Plus, Hutchens added, the savings are guaranteed under the terms of the contract. Entegrity will monitor energy and water use for a few years after the renovations are finished. Read more.

NOTE: This article is behind a paywall on the newspaper's website.

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