SHERIDAN – Baby, it’s cold outside, and if you’re in Sheridan’s Town Hall, it’s probably cold inside too.
If you walked past the windows of the building, you probably felt a slight chill. Bev Leichtnam, government specialist for the city, certainly has.
“In my office, we take tape and tape the entire window so we don’t feel the air coming through, in addition to the snow that is collecting on some window sills,” said Leichtnam.
“The wind blows through a lot of them, and you definitely feel a difference in temperature just walking through the windows – especially when the wind is blowing,” said Mayor Roger Miller.
Sheridan City Construction Officer Kevin Bare said 68 of the building’s 74 windows are in dire need of replacement. And a slight cooling is just one of the problems caused by the windows.
“Over the past few years, window sills have built up dirt and snow … and have gained tremendous solar heat in the afternoons,” Bare said. “Last year we had insect infestations in the building where the mortar joints had deteriorated. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to fix the problems with our windows. And a tremendous amount of wasted energy is the result.”
Last week the city applied for a loan from the Wyoming Association of Municipalities and the Wyoming County Commissioners Association’s Energy Lease Program. The program could provide a loan for up to $ 100,000 of the expected cost of $ 187,250 to replace the windows in the town hall, according to Leichtnam.
Cities and counties are encouraged to apply for loans from the supervisory authority for the energy leasing program. Interest-free loans between USD 2,500 and USD 100,000 are given to projects that increase the energy efficiency of public facilities. The loan has a term of two years, is amortized over 10 years and can be renewed up to four times.
Leichtnam said the loan program offers an extended schedule for paying for the window project, which is preferable to paying the amount in a lump sum. The loan would be repaid using budgeted direct selling and / or general excise taxes, Leichtnam said
“If we were lucky enough to get the entire $ 100,000 loan amortized at 0% interest over a 10-year period, our payments would be $ 10,000 a year,” Leichtnam said. “We have to make quarterly payments of $ 2,500. (That’s) a lot easier to budget than a whole $ 187,250. “
The joint regulator for the energy leasing program will meet in January 2021 to review the applications. If the city of Sheridan is selected as a potential loan recipient, the city will have to decide by the end of June whether to accept the loan, Leichtnam said. The funds will be available to the winners on or after July 1, 2021.
According to city manager Stuart McRae, there are many directions the city could go depending on how much loan dollars they receive. You could choose to do the entire project with the remaining $ 87,250 from the city budget or not pursue the project at all. The council might also decide to just replace some of the windows depending on how much money they are receiving.
“We can think of other options when we get less money,” said McRae. “We can think of other options if we don’t want to spend more than $ 100,000. We have all kinds of options available. But everything makes us become more efficient. “
The proposed window project, according to Bare, would be the latest in 13 years of energy-efficient updates to the town hall. These projects ranged from upgrades for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to installing LED lighting and a boiler upgrade.
“It has been a mission for us to really try to lower our costs effectively and leave a legacy for those who will serve in your and even mine chairs,” said Bare.
If the window project moves forward, it could result in an estimated 65 years of energy payback, Bare said. Miller expressed support for the project and hoped that the council would give the project serious consideration once it was known whether a loan was offered to the city.
“It’s an investment in the building’s infrastructure for better efficiency and some payback,” Miller said. “I think it’s always a good thing. It would help the town hall feel a little warmer and less windy for the next 20 to 40 years. “