By Tommy Mann Jr. – The Record

Renovations and repairs are coming to several Orange County facilities and it will not cost the county a cent.

Orange County Commissioners unanimously approved a measure to have Way Service, Ltd. to conduct repairs and make upgrades to several county buildings in an effort to increase savings related to energy efficiency.

Much of this project will include either repairs or upgrades to a variety of energy related systems, such as lighting, HVAC and more, and will potentially save Orange County millions of dollars.

The total cost of this project is approximately $6.4 million, which will be spread out over a period of 15 years, and the total scope of savings is estiimated to be $7.1 million over that same period of time.

“This project will be paid for through a calculation of savings to the county,” said John Banken, Orange County Commissioner of Precinct 3.

“If we do not meet these savings goals, then, by law, (Way Service, Ltd.) has to guarantee the savings,” said Orange County Judge Brint Carlton. “They would basically have to write us a check for the difference.”

According to a story in the Jan. 27, 2016, edition of The County Record, all air-conditioning systems at county buildings have been inspected for energy savings potential and condition. Each system has had a “data-logger” installed which downloads operational information and interior conditions to a computer for analysis.

A centralized control system for all air-conditioning systems, which would alert personnel of potential issues and save manpower, has also been recommended as part of the project.

Lighting systems in each county building have been inspected and will most likely be retrofitted with newer, less expensive LED systems.

Other items which are expected to be repaired or replaced include the water tower at the Orange County Courthouse, the marble facade of the courthouse, as well as air-ducts inside the Orange County Courthouse Administration building.

According to its official website, Way Service Ltd offers a variety of services which can reduce owning and operating costs while simultaneously improving working conditions, upgrading infrastructure and protecting the environment. The company provides services for municipalities, healthcare facilities, educational facilities and for the manufacturing industry and has offices based in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Vidor.

In other news, commissioners approved a request by Orange County Constable David Cagle of Precinct 2 to add a carport to the rear section of the Precinct 2 office building.

The carport will be approximately 20-feet by 60-feet and be useful for Cagle and staff in inclement weather conditions. The carport, which has been stated to cost approximately $7,500, according to one bid, will not cost Orange County taxpayers any money as it will be funded through the use of drug forfeiture funds.