January 25, 2020
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SAD 75 to eye principal post, vote on energy savings pact

TOPSHAM, Maine — The School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors will hold a special meeting Thursday to consider appointing a principal for Mt. Ararat Middle School.

The former principal of Mt. Ararat Middle School, Bill Zima, has left SAD 75 to serve as the superintendent of Regional School Unit 2.

The school board will consider appointing a familiar face to the principal position in the form of Josh Ottow, who spent the last four years as the assistant principal at Yarmouth High School. Before he was hired in Yarmouth, Ottow was an assistant principal at Mt. Ararat High School for four years.

Also on Thursday, the board may again vote to pursue a contract with Honeywell for a 15-year energy project.

In late June, the school board had unanimously approved a 15-year contract for energy saving projects with the technology and manufacturing company. However, Superintendent Brad Smith said Tuesday that the district’s legal counsel advised school officials to advertise for the project, rather than consider it an extension of an earlier energy improvement project Honeywell was contracted to do for SAD 75.

The district has since advertised, requesting qualifications and proposals and only received proposals back from the same vendors as before — one for the energy improvement work and the other for the funding. But now there can be no question about the process being open to all, Smith said.

Thursday, Smith said, the board will simply vote again to move forward with the 15- year project with Honeywell.

Performance contracts allow the school district to use annual energy cost savings to pay for energy system improvements that result in those savings.

The district cut its energy costs nearly in half over the last decade through energy saving measures with Honeywell.

The energy performance contract was also touted as a way to address looming issues such as needed boiler and ventilation repairs the district will need to make, without floating a bond.

The district’s businss manager, Steven Dyer, stated in an email this morning that: “Honeywell is the ‘successful bidder,’ as only qualifications and a proposed scope of work were the criteria. The price has been negotiated at $4,328,878 for the work and the district is refinancing the previous work ($824,537) at a better interest rate. The district will receive about $105,000 in rebates and will get credit for reduced annual maintenance contract costs. The total amount to be financed is $5,005,758.”

Jim Lucy of Honeywell told the board during a presentation in June that the company is proposing to reduce baseline energy costs by another 18 percent that it would guarantee from a reduction standpoint — both for electrical and heating costs.

Thursday’s meeting will start at 5 p.m. at the district office in the superintendent’s conference room.

 



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