Alva Review-Courier -

Alva City Council hears LED lighting cost savings

• NWOSU fall scholarship bill approved


January 24, 2021

The Alva City Council accepted the fall scholarship invoice from NWOSU and heard a presentation on changing to LED lighting at the Jan. 19 meeting. Council members present for the meeting were Daniel Winters, Connor Martin, Chris Eckhardt, Mary Hamilton, Dr. Bo Hannaford, and Randy Stelling. Brandon Sherman and Brian Wallis were absent. The meeting was held at the Alva Recreation Complex fieldhouse to allow space for distancing.

Skeeter Bird, CEO of the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Foundation, presented the 2020 fall scholarship invoice to the city. He asked the council to consider “what if we didn’t have students at Northwestern?” He spoke about the financial impact the presence of college students has for Alva.

Dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Calleb Mosburg represented the university in the absence of NWOSU President Dr. Janet Cunningham who was in quarantine. He said Northwestern has completed a “very unusual” spring, summer and fall beginning with the shutdown of in person classes after spring break. After limited summer offerings, the university was able to bring students back to the campus in the fall. They were able to host spring and fall commencement ceremonies, which few universities in the state could do. Both Bird and Mosburg thanked the city and its citizens for their contribution to NWOSU through the scholarship program.

“Northwestern is one of the things that makes Alva Alva,” said Mayor Kelly Parker. He said the incentive scholarships, funded by city sales tax, are paying dividends to the community.

Converting to LED Lighting

Joe Schrader believes his company can save the City of Alva $1,610 a month on their electrical bill by a conversion to LED lighting. Schrader, CEO of Oklahoma LED, said his company has performed over 300 such conversions saving clients from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands in electricity expenses.

As a simple example he said a standard 65 watt bulb replaced with a 9 watt LED is 86 percent cheaper to operate. Schrader provided a very detailed lighting catalog of every light in and on city buildings except for the sports lights. Choosing one line, he said the Alva park gazebo has one 91 watt light that uses 364 kilowatt hours annually. An LED replacement would drop that to 160 kilowatt hours.

Figuring the regular hours of operation for city buildings, Schrader said electrical lighting is costing the city $2,292 per month. It could be even more if employees work past the regular closing hours. Converting to LED would drop that cost to $682 per month, a savings of $1,610 each month.

Oklahoma LED could complete the conversion in about a week because they bring in everyone needed to do the job with no subcontractors. The net cost of the project would be $86,635 after subtracting the $26,100 rebate for the energy efficient lighting.

Schrader said these projects are usually financed through a lease purchase. Through Government Capital Finance, who has financed many of his conversions, the monthly payment would be $1,380 a month. The electric bill savings would cover that with $231 left. He said the project would require no capital investment or money down and would be self-funding.

The result would be no more light bulbs. Schrader said some lighting fixtures would be retro-fitted but most will be replaced. Every exit sign would be replaced, and lighting ballasts would no longer be required.

Mayor Parker thanked him for the information. He said the city attorney will need to look at the proposal, and then it will be assigned to the Parks and Buildings Committee for consideration.

Amending Budget

Three resolutions were approved to amend the current city budget by adding unexpected revenue. This included $381,788.36 in federal CARES funding for expenses already incurred for police, fire and EMS expenses related to mitigating the spread of Covid-19.

Another $25,901.20 in federal CARES funding went to the EMS for expenses related to Covid-19.

The third resolution concerned a donation of $100,000 from the Warren E. and Maxine H. Nichols Revocable Trust. This donation to the public library is for asset improvement or book inventory purchases.

Purchasing Designations

Each year the city council looks at purchasing designations and limits. The list is much the same as last year except the finance director position has been removed. Public Works Director Ronnie Hoskins was given the same limit as the finance director position.

The city business manager has the highest limit at $25,000. Some department heads, who might need to make purchases for such things as emergency mechanical or infrastructure repairs, have a higher limit than others. The public works director, street supervisor and water/wastewater supervisor have a $15,000 limit. The police chief, fire chief, ambulance director and sanitation supervisor have $10,000 limits. Other supervisors and assistants have limits from $500 to $5,000.

Skid Steer Purchase

Council members met later in the evening as members of the Alva Utility Authority. The sanitation department needs a new skid steer, used mainly to load garbage onto trailers to haul to the landfill each day as well as other projects at the transfer station. The current equipment is no longer safe to use in that way although the city can use it in other places in a less stressful environment.

Hoskins said he checked into buying a used skid steer but found that purchasing a new one was more cost effective. The trustees approved the purchase of a John Deere 316GR skid steer from Western Equipment for an amount not to exceed $36,000.

This item was not included in the current budget. Funds will come from within the utility budget so the overall annual budget will not be affected.

Bids for Water Line Installation

About two years ago, the city purchased all the materials needed for a 6,500 foot, 16-inch diameter water transmission line to be laid from the well field into Alva. The plan was to have city employees install the line. That hasn’t happened because the city has been a little short-handed and those employees have been needed elsewhere.

It was also found that the route along US-281 highway had a high water table, meaning it would be necessary to line the way with crushed rock. Brady said if the route can be moved to the east along County Road 430, which goes directly to the well field, the water table is lower so the project will cost less. It will require a modification of the engineering plans.

In order to keep the purchased materials from deteriorating, the city has decided to hire someone to install the water line. The anticipated cost is approximately $320,000 so it will require a bidding process. The current budget allows for $391,000 in loan revenue to complete the water/wastewater projects from the 2018 revenue bond proceeds. The trustees voted to approve going out for bids for installation of the water transmission line.

Other Business

The city council approved the consent agenda including minutes of the Dec. 21 and special Jan. 12 meetings along with claims of $132,420.12 and payroll expenses of $198,574.10.

The Alva Utility Authority approved minutes of the Dec. 21 meeting as well as claims of $133,814.37 and payroll expenses of $51,904.01.

The Alva Economic Development Authority was the final meeting of the night. The trustees approved minutes from Dec. 21, claims of $14,671.15 and payroll expenses of $270,421.03. In a separate vote, they also approved payment of the NWOSU Foundation’s invoice for 2020 Fall Semester Scholarships not to exceed $270,421.03.


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