MONTICELLO – Piatt County officials continue to look into using solar power for county-owned buildings but are concerned that preliminary information indicates they may not see a cost in savings by making the switch.

Piatt County Mental Health Center Director Tony Kirkman said he is working with county board member Mike Beem on adding solar energy to the center.

“What I have been able to put together so far is that the quote I have been given is that it will cost $160,000 to put the solar panels on our roofline,” he said. “There are some recently approved tax incentives for units of government that will cover up to 30% so it would take about $110,000.”

Kirkman said he wants to learn more about power purchase agreements, which includes a group of investors that would buy the equipment and then put it on the county property.

Kirkman estimates it would amount to about 30% savings on utilities, but the investment group would get the incentives of writing the purchases off.

“The idea of a local group of investors putting equipment on county-owned land, well, I am not sure how I feel about that frankly,” he said. “We are continuing with the conversations. We have heard from some vendors that told us if we were ever interested in putting a request for proposals together to let them know.”

Trending Food Videos

Kirkman said the cost in savings would not justify the expense of transitioning to solar power and at this point, more investigation is necessary before moving forward.

Cleaning service

Officials are looking for someone to clean the county office building on North State Street.

Maintenance supervisor Doug Winder says there is some confusion about who is responsible for cleaning specific portions of the building. Winder, County Engineer Eric Seibring and nursing home administrator Scott Porter will get together to identify specifics for the board.

But at some point, county officials say they will need to hire someone to help clean at least a portion of the building. Officials are unsure of specifics but have determined it would be a part-time position.