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Schools reject federal help

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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Stimulus money for saving energy not wanted by district

The Camp Verde Unified School District opted last week to not seek a grant to help improve energy efficiency at its facilities, because the school board wasn't happy with the terms of the deal.

The district had a good shot at getting a portion of $20 million of federal stimulus money to help improve energy efficiency and reduce costs, according to Director of Operations Chris Schultz and Facilities Director Stacey Barker.

The money, distributed by the Arizona School Facilities Board, would be used to pay 30 percent of any energy-saving plan the district could come up with, Barker said.

That's not good enough for Board President Tim Roth, who feels the district could develop an energy-saving plan on its own and in its own time.

"I don't want the federal government dictating how we spend our money," Roth said.

If the district had pursued the grant money, the district would have had three years to complete any proposed project.

Schultz said that the school district, when it wants to move ahead with cost-saving efficiency upgrades, could still work closely with a division of Arizona Public Service dedicated to working with clients to develop energy strategies.

Roth said that APS could also provide help finding financing for any project the district undertakes when the time comes.

An audit of what could be done to lower utility bills could cost around $18,000, Schultz said. There are several technologies that could be implemented, Schultz said, including everything from lights that automatically dim when the sun is shining through the windows to improved seals on doors.

These are just two of many solutions that could save the district money, Schultz said, and any improvements would eventually pay for themselves.

The board let the issue die after Roth reiterated his misgivings about using federal grant money.

"If we don't, as a district and as a community, stand up and say 'this is wrong,' nothing is ever going to change," Roth said.



Copyright 2009 The Camp Verde Journal, Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

© 2009 The Camp Verde Journal Camp Verde, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from DAS.

Original Publication Date: September 16, 2009



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