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Article Archive >> In Your County

County Comment: Energy Tops Commissioners List

CUTLINE: Scott Hobbs, Washington County Chief of Capital Projects Engineering, honored with a Commissioners' Certificate of Merit for having been named "Maryland County Engineer of the Year" for 2008 by the Maryland Association of County Engineers. L-R: Commissioners' President John Barr, Scott Hobbs.



County Comment
Energy Tops Commissioners List
by Norman Bassett, Public Information Officer
Washington County, Maryland

A number of energy-related issues were topics of discussion for the Washington County Board of County Commissioners in the meeting on September 23rd.
Renewal of the bid for Electric Supply Services for fiscal years 2010 through 2013 will save the County $1.175 million. Washington County participates in the "Electric Supply Services to the Frederick Area Cooperative Purchasing Committee", which buys electric energy in bulk lots at pricing lower than the predicted market cost.
The Board concurred with awarding the contract to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder, Reliant Energy Solutions East, LLC of Houston Texas in the amounts of 7.83 cents per kilowatt hour for Type 1 accounts, small commercial and industrial, churches and schools, 7.70 cents per kilowatt hour for Type 2 accounts, medium commercial and industrial, and 7.50 cents per kilowatt hour for Type 3 accounts, large commercial and industrial.
County Purchasing Agent Karen Luther said that on October 3, 2006, the Board approved entering into the Frederick Area Cooperative Purchasing Agreement for Electricity as a participating organization and appointed a Primary Representative and a Secondary Representative (Alternate) to act on behalf of the Board to enter into a contract immediately following the bid opening for electricity supply services.
The Committee now consists of Allegany County Board of Education, Carroll County Public School System, City of Cumberland, City of Frederick, Frederick Community College, Frederick County Government, Frederick County Public Schools, Garrett County Government, Garrett County Public Schools, Washington County Government, Washington County Public Schools, and the Washington County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association. The County Humane Society and the Washington County Health Department again agreed to participate and granted authority to the County to act on their behalf regarding bid award.
That committee of organizations agreed to join and adhere to a standard set of procedures for procurement of electricity. The objective of the Agreement was to allow one organization (Washington County Public Schools-lead jurisdiction) to issue a solicitation for electricity, the specifications of which would represent the needs of all participating organizations. Each participant would then make its own individual award to the successful bidder or offerer. This objective had the effect of lowering administrative costs by participating organizations, avoiding duplication of effort, obtaining better prices through economies of scale, allowing for the exchange of information and expertise, and providing a forum to evaluate the quality of electricity service.
The bid prices reflect about a 6% increase over the previous contract, as opposed to 14-15% increases in the market rate for energy costs.
Commissioners also discussed the proposed PATH project, that would construct new high-voltage power lines from West Virginia, across Southern Washington County, to the eastern portion of Maryland. There has been no route decided as yet, Commissioners' President Barr said, after attending several public meetings by Allegheny Power on the issue.
County Administrator Greg Murray reported that presentations on possible recapture and use of methane gas from the landfill as an energy source, and on a wind energy project in Delaware will be made at next week's meeting.
In other Commissioners actions, Scott Hobbs, Chief of Capital Projects Engineering was honored with a Commissioners' Certificate of Merit for having been named "Maryland County Engineer of the Year" for 2008 by the Maryland Association of County Engineers.
A Resolution was approved to allow the Washington County Special Response Team to purchase 16 Tactical Vests and Accessories from Safety League, Inc. T/A Atlantic Tactical of New Cumberland Pennsylvania in the amount of $26,790.40. The items replace the existing vests, which are ten years old.
Wayne Alter was reappointed to the Airport Commission for an additional three-year term.
Human Resources Administrator Dee Hawbaker requested and received approval for advertisement of 4 county jobs including an Accounts Payable Technician in Budget and Finance, A Motor Equipment II/Crew Coordinator in the Highways Department and two Landfill Attendant positions.

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