How do you repay someone who saved you over $152,000 last year?
That’s the question the Warren County School Board is trying to answer as it looks to reward Warren County School System employees who saved taxpayers that amount last school year in energy costs.
“They saved us so much in energy costs that we need to show our appreciation for their efforts,” said School Board chairman Bill Zechman as the board brainstormed on what reward to give the school employees.
Just over $152,000 was saved during the 2011-12 school year in energy costs by a new initiative which put the responsibility in the hands of school employees to switch off lights, computer monitors, and other electronic devices when they were not in use. The plan not only saved immediate power costs, but also allowed the school system to avoid having to pay thousands to an outside firm to oversee energy reduction.
Zechman pointed out the reduction happened by changing human behavior, noting updating of lighting and other systems at the schools could lead to even greater savings in the future.
Director of Schools Bobby Cox said he had considered holding an event for school employees at the last home football game but the idea was introduced too late and could not be implemented.
“We need to do something special,” Cox said, noting he discussed the idea with the state comptroller’s office to make sure it was OK to expend funds as an award to system employees. “They said as long as the board votes we can do it.”
Cox clarified the reward will be for all school employees. As for what the reward will be, Cox said he is still open for suggestions and hopes to determine something by the next meeting of the Board of Education in November.