McCracken County investing $3M to save on energy costs

Everyone wants to save on energy costs. Many of you do this by buying new light bulbs or more energy-efficient appliances. McCracken County is doing the same thing, but on a larger scale, spending more than $3 million to save energy.

A fan brought in by courthouse employees blows cold air through an office. Next door, a space heater sits next to Lyne Dickey feet.

"I don’t like being cold," Dickey said. Air flow in the McCracken County Courthouse has been a problem for this deputy clerk for almost 30 years. Her part of the building is too cold, but others are too hot.

"It’s like coming from the freezer, and you defrost on the second floor, because it’s so warm," Dickey said.

The courthouse and other county buildings are already in need of many upgrades, so this morning fiscal court voted to spend more than $3 million to improve county buildings with things like like new lighting, insulation and appliances, making them more energy efficient.

All county buildings will get upgrades. The jail alone spends $11,000 on water per month. In the bathrooms, it’s four gallons of water per flush. After upgrades, it will be one. 

Judge Executive Bob Leeper says it’s just like the changes many of you make in your homes.

"You can see a change in your electric bill when you do that," Leeper said.

In the long run, he says it will save money and allow employees to put their blankets and jackets away.

Leeper says the county has researched the issue for more than a year. The research shows the improvements will save more than $4 million over 15 years. Part of the savings will pay for the project, while the rest will go back into the general fund. 

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