Weather Forecast


New London-Spicer results for utility efficiency pending after mechanical malfunctions

NEW LONDON -- New London-Spicer Schools is waiting to find out if the district's energy-savings goals were met after recent spikes in natural gas and water usage.

Craig Wright, general manager of the performance assurance division of Johnson Controls Inc., told the School Board on Monday that he could not present a performance report from the district's 2008 utility usage because of complications from the previous month.

Wright said both utilities for the high school/middle school building had "a consistent level of performance."

He said the water usage increase is likely due to a pipe leak and a mechanical malfunction in the water heater.

Wright said Johnson Controls will create a performance report from the 10 months prior to the spike and present it to the district.

According to Tribune archives, the district entered a two-part contract in January 2006 with Johnson Controls for energy, health and safety projects totaling more than $4 million. The construction projects in the first part of the contract were implemented in summer 2006 to save the district money in natural gas and water bills. As part of the contract, the district replaced a boiler in the high school; windows and the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system in the middle school; and miscellaneous heating, ventilation and air-conditioning repairs for all its buildings. The district also replaced all the sinks, toilets and showers with water-saving devices.

Last year, Johnson Controls wrote a $22,550 check to NLS because the district's utility savings did not meet the contracted energy-savings plan of $32,664. The actual savings was about $10,100.

In the contract, Johnson Controls also guarantees the district will save $601,651 in utility payments over 15 years. This amount is also how much the district is paying the company to monitor utilities costs and ways to prevent excessive usage.

In other news:

- The district continues to weigh its options for a transportation contract for the 2009-10 school year. Chairperson Robert Moller said state statute required the district to take in bids from multiple contractors this year. The district transportation committee will present a district recommendation during the Feb. 23 board meeting after negotiating with two contractors.

- The district raised over $774 for the Special Olympics through the Jan. 31 Polar Bear Plunge event at Green Lake in Spicer. Eight participants, including Superintendent Paul Carlson, jumped into the lake for the cause.