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County hears results from utility study, approves contract for courthouse renovations

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Jason Anderson and Curtis Brown of ABM make their presentation to the county Monday morning. Bradley Bennett/DouglasNow.com Jason Anderson and Curtis Brown of ABM make their presentation to the county Monday morning.

At the May 15 pre-meeting work session of the Coffee County Board of Commissioners representatives of ABM presented their findings to the board. ABM is a globally traded energy services company with its regional headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. They were chosen by the county to do a preliminary feasibility study whereby they determine where and how much that the county can save on its energy bill. There was no fee for this service.

Mr. Jason Anderson and Mr. Curtis Brown of ABM presented their findings. Mr. Anderson said that their intent as a company was, “... trying to make your tax digest, those dollars go farther for you.”  The county paid nothing to ABM for the study, but did provide them with copies of utility bills. The representatives of ABM checked utility consumption and looked at some county facilities, particularly the jail. They noted that jails are generally a great part of any county’s total utility bill because they are operated all year, around the clock.

ABM makes recommendations and they contract to make improvements to county facilities. The representatives of ABM said that the next step for the board would be to approve a request for qualifications (RFQ). This would allow other energy services companies to make proposals to compete with that of ABM. County Administrator Wesley Vickers said that he would have to make further study before determining how to move forward. No action was taken on the ABM preliminary feasibility study or the RFQ during the regular meeting.

In the regular meeting the board approved a proposed architect contract for renovations to the courthouse. County Attorney Tony Rowell, after some initial misgivings, read the contract and found it acceptable. He stated that it was a standard American Institute of Architects (AIA) contract and recommended approval. Vic Suttles, who has a history of doing business with the county, was the other party to the contract.

Mr. Suttles is being paid the standard architect fee which is six percent of the total cost of the project. The total cost of the courthouse renovations is yet to be determined.

Also at the meeting District 4 Commission Chairman Johnny Wayne Jowers announced that Sims Funeral Home was taking care of the funeral arrangements for Commissioner Charles H. Deens' beloved wife Linda. Chairman Jowers stated that the services for Mrs. Deen would be held May 16 at 2 pm at Reedy Branch Baptist Church with interment to follow. 

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