City will get 'greener' with energy savings

PLYMOUTH – The city of Plymouth will become more energy conscious with the creation of a new “Common Cents Fund” and the city’s taxpayers will likely be happy.
The Plymouth Common Council suspended the rules to create the fund passing it on all three readings in one meeting. The fund will make available $200,000 in funds for capital equipment purchases that are part of energy conservation measures.
The action was prompted by the city’s recent work on an energy study on ways to make all departments in the city more conscious of energy efficiency. Electric motors, lights, literally all systems will come under scrutiny in the program and steps taken to make all operations more efficient.
Water, Sewer and Street Departments will be working with consultants to examine systems that can be tweaked for energy savings.
“This is a good program and we’re all excited about saving money for the taxpayers,” said Plymouth Clerk Treasurer Toni Hutchings in support of the program.
Hutchings said that while all departments in the city would be looked at, the Aviation Department had previously undertaken many of the measures as part of work that was underway at the airport previously. The Park Department will spend time working on cutting energy costs later in the year.
Councilman Mark Neidig said that he is involved in several similar measures in his private business at ITAMCO and that marginal increases in project costs were bringing “phenomenal” savings to his company. The city’s program will likely see a consultant cost of around $3,000 a month but Neidig stated that based on similar programs at his company the city could see savings of close to $36,000 a month by moving forward on the changes.
The city estimates they can make all capital changes necessary for the first phase of the project for between $60,000 and $70,000. The program will also make the city eligible for grants and incentives from NIPSCO and other sources for conserving energy.