School board to vote on district-wide energy bundle agreement

Trustees are expected to vote on accepting a district-wide energy bundling agreement at the June 20 school board meeting.
Graphic: Winters Express
Graphic: Winters Express

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Trustees are expected to vote on accepting a district-wide energy bundling agreement with ABM Building Solutions, LLC (ABM) at the June 20 Winters Joint Unified School District board meeting. Karen Peters, Winters JUSD Chief Business Officer, brought back the three options presented at the May 16 school board meeting to Trustees, with the recommendation of Option B as the preferred choice. Under the approval of Option B, ABM would provide the scope of work of a Base Program that includes lighting throughout the district, building automation controls in all but the new high school portion of the district, replace 39 HVAC units, revitalization of remaining HVAC units and weatherization of all doors and windows. Specifics of Option B also include hot water solutions for locker rooms, HVAC for Gymnasium and Cool Roof over Gym. The vote originally was slated to happen at the June 20 school board meeting, but Trustees tabled the vote due to concerns regarding a lack of line items to specify exactly what type of equipment would be purchased. President Rob Warren said the more of the fine print he read the more questions he had and concerns arose for him. He requested a breakdown of cost accounting of labor, equipment and unaccounted associated costs that wouldn’t kick in for the first few years. Specifically, maintenance costs and costs that would eventually occur from additional additions like air conditioning units in units that haven’t had them before. “It’s not that I don’t trust your calculations, but I believe there are a lot of costs that weren’t calculated into this program,” said Warren. Trustee Carrie Green added that normally the school board receives three quotes regarding equipment proposals and the price tag was causing questions if it was the best price. Kecia Davison, Vice President of Energy for ABM, said part of the value of the agreement is the in-house labor from ABM which eliminated the need for general contractors and associated layers that come from working with them. Davison also said there is future instability with PGE and the best way to get ahead was to lessen the dependence and reliance of them by taking action now. Trustees requested ABM expand on the price breakdown they originally provided with more details of the dollar amount of the equipment that will be purchased, what exact units were being replaced, soft costs included. “It’s not just the cost of the unit. The cost of the units are just one component of what it’s going to take to get the job done,” said Board Clerk Michael Olivas. If the agreement is approved the District will take on non-voter approved debt of approximately $3.l million, to be offset by general fund savings through the Energy Cost Savings Program provided by ABM. In order to finance the scope of work provided by ABM, Trustees will need to approve a private placement lease. Peters presented informational items including a Bond Debt Service provided by Isom Advisors and the budget neutral calculations provided by ABM. Trustees will take action on them at the June 20 meeting if the agreement with ABM is approved. If Trustees vote to opt out, the district will have to pay for the cost of the study which has an impact of $28,700. In February of 2019, the school district authorized ABM to perform an Investment Grade Audit to provide a program that would allow the school an opportunity to upgrade facilities and optimize the learning environment without impacting the existing budget.]]>

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