Kirksville Council votes 3-2 to spend money to save money

Councilmen Jerry Mills and Robert Russell voted against the proposal.

At Monday night's Kirksville City Council meeting, the council voted 3-to-2 to approve an agreement with Schneider Electric to complete a performance contracting project for the City of Kirksville.

Performance contracting is a means of raising money for other city projects by installing new energy efficient technology.

The money saved will be used to offset the cost of financing, installing and operating that technology.

In Kirksville's case, Schneider Electric will be putting in new energy efficient lighting in several city buildings, installing a new HVAC system for city hall, including a catwalk structure for accessing that equipment, and replacing all but 276 of the city's 7,388 residential and commercial water meters.

The 276 are newer meters that the city has already replaced.

The cost of the project is $4.7 million, which will be paid back over 10 years.

Councilmen Jerry Mills and Robert Russell are the two who voted against the project.

"We have other things that are coming up that are going to be costly,â?? said Russell. â??So we have to just weigh, and I have to weigh, what's better for the community at this time, and that's why I took my stand, and that's why I voted 'no.'"

Officials say it will be 10 years before the city starts realizing any savings from its energy efficient upgrades.

If the city's energy savings aren't as great as Schneider Electric has projected, the company will write a check to the city for the difference.

Schneider Electric representatives told KTVO they expect work on some of the energy improvements to begin next month.

They estimate the replacement of water meters will take five to six months to complete.