Zachary schools eye conservation; funds sought for police assistance

The Zachary Community School Board agreed Thursday to advertise for proposals from companies that offer energy conservation services.

The board recently received an offer from Cenergistic Inc. to train a Zachary school system employee as an energy management specialist to instill a culture of energy conservation in the schools that the company said would net nearly $2.8 million in savings during a 10-year period.

Board attorney Ricky McDavid said Thursday that state law does not require the board to follow the public bid law in energy conservation contracts but specific laws require the board to seek proposals from other firms before settling on a contractor.

McDavid said the law also will require Zachary to hire a third-party energy consultant to evaluate the proposals.

School Superintendent Scott Devillier said Cenergistic’s program does not require the school system to buy new equipment designed to cut energy costs.

“It’s more like behavior modification training,” Devillier said.

Other topics before the board included:

LANDSCAPING CONTRACT: Board members approved a $717,072 contract with Angelo’s Lawn-Scape of Louisiana to maintain the district’s lawns, flower beds and parking areas for a 24-month period. The annual price is at the same rate as the district paid the company for the past year, Operations Director Patrick Jenkins said.

CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: The board renewed an $89,000 annual contract with Don Simpson, who monitors ongoing construction projects in the district.

POLICE AID: The item was not on the agenda for action, but the board discussed sharing with the Zachary Police Department the cost of providing three school resource officers and school crossing guards.

Police Chief David McDavid said his department is paying $214,352 for salaries, training and other expenses for the personnel assigned to the schools. He said he is asking the School Board to put up $142,500 to pay the officers during the next school year because of budget constraints in his department.

The board said it will vote on the request at its May 16 meeting.