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Savings days keep $100K in city coffers

COLUMBIANA — For the second year in a row, the city has shaved roughly $100,000 off its energy usage costs through Community Energy Savings days.

City Manager Lance Willard presented the results during the recent city council meeting. The energy savings day were held during peak usage times on July 18 and 19, when temperatures exceeded 90 degrees.

Columbiana purchases its electricity through American Municipal Power and a portion of the city’s rates come from transmission charges that are based off city-wide electric demand on peak periods, which are usually the hottest and coldest days of the year.

Charges for the next year are based off the prior year’s usage.

The city first began the Community Energy Savings day last year and saved the city an estimated total of $120,000, or $35 per household for this year.

Willard said the energy savings days held on July 18 and 19 have resulted in a projected savings of about $100,000 for next year.

The energy savings consists of asking residents and businesses to turn their thermostat up by several degrees, using fans, turning off lights, unplugging electronics when not being used, and holding off on running the stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer during specified times of the day.

The city does not ask residents to turn off their air conditioning.

The city itself also participates in the energy savings, with high power items taken offline when possible.

“It really worked out. We really appreciate residents and businesses doing that,” Willard said.

On another matter, Willard also said the recent community cleanup day went well, with the city filling 15 40-yard dumpsters at Firestone Park. He said the dumpsters weighed between five and six tons each once filled.

Residents were asked to drop off their eligible unwanted items at the park during the cleanup day, and those who could not make it to the park were able to leave their items at the curb for pickup by city crews.

In other business, council approved:

— Emergency legislation allowing the city to participate in the free bridge inspection program provided through the Ohio Department of Transportation.

— Giving a first reading to legislation accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the budget commission and authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor. The city has a 2-mill, five-year ambulance/EMS levy last passed by voters in 2017 and a 2-mill, five-year fire levy last passed by voters in 2014.

— A request from Crystal Siembida-Boggs for a Pumpkin Pie 5K on Oct. 6, ‘Twas the Night Before 5K on Dec. 11 and a new Cookies and Milk 5K on April 5, 2020. Siembida-Boggs is a member of council and abstained from the vote.

kwhite@mojonews.com

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