Haywood Co. commissioners approve energy project to ‘go green’ & ‘save green’


HAYWOOD COUNTY, Tenn. — “Going green” is a trend that many believe is good for the environment and good for business. Haywood County commissioners are continuing the movement by approving an energy project with help from state agencies.

Four buildings in the county will soon be receiving an eco-friendly upgrade.

“We’re going to have LED lighting put throughout the courthouse, the justice complex, the Boys & Girls Club, and the Scott Street Center,” Budget Committee Chairman Joe Stephens said.

The project comes after Haywood County officials applied for an energy grant. “It’s a way for us to improve our infrastructure here in the community without costing the taxpayers locally anything,” Stephens said.

The entire project will cost close to $500,000, with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation covering almost half that amount. “The remaining $238,000 will be on the responsibility of Haywood County,” Stephens said.

Stephens said taxpayers can expect to see a savings of more than $57,000 per year in utility costs, and of that savings the county will pay an annual $38,000 for their portion of the project.

“It’ll be a positive cash flow back from the energy savings, about $17,000,” Stephens said.

The project also includes additional work done to the courthouse and the justice complex.

“There will also be solar panels installed on top of the justice complex, and in the courthouse there will also be getting a new heating and cooling system,” Stephens said.

Stephens said the move will be beneficial for taxpayers and will keep the community clean and green.

“It’s always a savings, and of course it’s green,” Stephens said. “That’s what everybody wants to be is green today, and it’s a savings to the community. It’s going to cut our utility bills, and it’s also going to offer some better services than what we have right now.”

Stephens said although the project has been approved, the County Commission has to officially accept the grant from the Department of Environment and Conservation at a special called meeting next month.

County officials say the project will begin this fall and that they hope it will be completed over the course of 18 months.

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