BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
MONTROSE – The Lee County Board of Supervisors will be authorizing electronic signatures on various agreements Tuesday, to start the process of installing solar panels on county buildings.
Supevisors approved the contract with Mohrfeld Electric in May, after about eight weeks of debating the issue and allowing another company to come and pitch an offer for the same services.
Mohrfeld Electric of Fort Madison and Precision Energy Services out of Burlington were the two that offered to provide the services, which include a no cost out of pocket for the county. Precision Energy withdrew their proposal earlier this month and Mohrfeld was awarded the work.
Mohrfeld originally pitched the idea to supervisors back in April. Mohrfeld has done similar projects in the county with Southeastern Community College’s Keokuk campus and Holy Trinity Catholic High School among others.
Under the proposal, Mohrfeld would essentially pay for the installation of the panels and hooking up the power and then the county would pay reduced electric rates per a purchase power agreement back to Mohrfeld’s.
Precision then came into the picture last month and made a pitch to the supervisors as well touting similar savings and union laborers. At the final meeting where the two companies were present, Mohrfeld President Michael Mohrfeld questioned Precision officials’ math on including the Lee County Jail for solar. Precision said it could be worked into the proposal, but Mohrfeld said the amount of power utilized at the jail wouldn’t make the project workable.
Under the terms of the Power Purchase agreement the majority of the county’s electric bill would be paid to Mohrfeld under a 15-year agreement. Mohrfeld would also warranty the new equipment at a substantial savings to the county annually.
The proposal would put solar panels on top of Keokuk’s Department of Human Services building, the North Lee County Office Building, and a battery of panels at the Lee County Conservation Building.
In other action, the board will:
• consider a resolution for the CEO wage and benefit management for the Southeast Iowa Link Mental Health and Disability Services Region.
• consider an approval of a memorandum of understanding with administrative and secondary roads unions changing bereavement leave, and bereavement language in the county personnel policy.