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LISD board eyes energy reduction

BY ALBERT TREVINO
Enterprise staff
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LIVINGSTON - The Livingston Independent School District’s Board of Trustees was presented with energy optimization report and approved a Medicaid-reimbursement program during its November meeting.

During informational reports, Wesley Daniel, CEO and founder of Ideal Impact, presented information on energy optimization for the district. Daniel has developed a program that allows his current school district customers to save 50 percent of their utility bills. The mission of Ideal Impact is to give back to schools by providing more funding as a result of energy optimization.

Daniel outlined how other issues can be solved when implementing energy savings including maintenance issues. The company has analyzed 24 months of energy bills and calculated proposed savings to the district. Daniel feels that the key to savings is to drop relative humidity and make improvements to the controls and processes at the start.

New controllers would be utilized on 191 units, as well as major control improvements on 462 units. Daniel is a class A mechanical engineer and would be responsible for installing and implementing the system which is estimated to take 90 days. A detailed energy and operations plan will be build and fine-tuned over time.

Each month the electric and gas bills will be sent to Ideal Impact, which will calculate the savings. The goal is to cut energy costs in the amount of $605,236 per year with a net 15-year savings of $13,699,189 which is a 44 percent savings over the current bills while guaranteeing all costs to implement the savings plan.

The school board meeting opened with a public hearing for the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) report. The FIRST report ensures that school districts will be held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices and achieve improved performance in the management of their financial resources.

LISD Chief Financial Officer Ben Davidson presented the 2015-2016 FIRST report which is graded on 20 different indicators. Dr. Brent Hawkins, LISD Superintendent, commended Davidson and the business department staff on receiving a perfect score of 100.

During action items, the board approved the implementation of the School Health and Related Services (SHARS) Agreement. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) jointly developed the SHARS program to enable school districts in Texas to obtain federal reimbursement for certain health-related services provided to Medicaid-eligible children with disabilities enrolled in special education.

Federal regulations allow for inter-agency agreements between state educational and Medicaid agencies to ensure the appropriate management of such programs. This agreement produced LISD in an additional $300,000 in revenues this past year.

In addition to the minutes from the previous board meeting, the financial statement and payment of bills the board approved several other action items. TASB Update 109 was approved with the exception of CO local (food service management) so that it may be written specifically to align with the goals of LISD.

The 830 votes for the Polk County Appraisal District Board of Directors positions were split between Mike Nettles and Pam Pierce.

Approval was given for overnight trips to be taken by the Livingston High School Student Council and the Livingston High School Chorale in December.

The LISD District and Campus Plans for the 2017-2018 school year were approved as well as a personal property donation.

During informational items, Livingston High School FCCLA Region IV officers Miranda Glass, president, and Karla Silva, vice president of service learning, gave the board an overview of their duties and responsibilities to their local chapter, region, and state. They also shared their past experiences in their leadership program and previewed their upcoming events.

The Timber Creek Elementary mentoring program was featured in a video showing the Kids Hope USA mentoring process.

During the meeting, the board welcomed Tracie Standley and Al Torres as November inductees into the prestigious LISD Apple Corps.