Watertown Ceremony Marks Completion Of City Energy Efficiency Renovations

Brian Warner

FEBRUARY 15, 2002


WATERTOWN—New York Power Authority and elected state officials gathered at City Hall here Friday with Mayor Joseph M. Butler to officially mark the completion of a $637,426 project to improve lighting, heating and other utility uses in the building and other city facilities.

"This multi-faceted project will cut energy use, save money for taxpayers and help clean the air," said Eugene W. Zeltmann, president and chief operating officer of the Power Authority. "It's a winning combination by any measure—and one that's very much in line with some of Governor Pataki's most important goals."

"The completion of this project will be a great benefit to the residents of Watertown. I am pleased to have worked with the Power Authority to make it happen," said Senator James Wright. "This project, along with a number of other energy efficient projects throughout the region and the state, is part of the state's efforts, under Governor Pataki, to improve energy management that will not only result in fiscal savings, but a cleaner environment."

"By upgrading the city's equipment with more reliable and energy-efficient technology, we are looking to the future," said Assemblyman Bob Nortz. "The improvements will have a positive impact on the services provided by the city at the library, fire station and municipal building. I would like to thank the Governor and Power Authority for their commitment to this and the many other projects that help improve the North Country's quality of life.

"A major energy-efficiency project of this scope could not have been accomplished without the involvement of the New York Power Authority, which came on board through the efforts of Senator Wright and Assemblyman Nortz. This project will provide a positive affect on the city’s near term financial outlook," said Mayor Butler.

The Power Authority supplied the material for lighting upgrades in the municipal building, the Flower Memorial Library, the department of public works and the main fire station. City crews did the actual installation work.

The city also installed new electric motors—supplied by the Power Authority—for use in the municipal building, the library and the water pollution control plant. The 27 new motors, ranging from 4 horsepower to 200 horsepower, are used for a variety of purposes.

The biggest single project was the replacement of four boilers in the municipal building and three boilers in the library. Manufactured by Fulton Boilers Co. in nearby Pulaski, the new units are expected to increase equipment reliability and reduce operating and maintenance costs.

In addition to realizing annual savings by use of the efficient new equipment, the city, which operates its own hydroelectric plant for municipal use, anticipates selling additional surplus electricity to Niagara Mohawk.

Financing for the project included more than $460,000 from the Power Authority and a $150,000 grant from the Petroleum Overcharge Restitution (POCR) fund, a pool of money ordered to be returned to consumers by petroleum companies found to have overcharged for their products. The Power Authority investment will be recouped by sharing in the bill savings realized by the city.

Zeltmann pointed out that, "Statewide, the Power Authority invests more than $100 million a year in projects featuring energy efficiency and clean new energy sources. That's more than 2 1/2 times the figure for 1994—the year before Governor Pataki took office. We've completed work at more than 2,500 government buildings, schools and other public facilities—saving taxpayers about $75 million a year."

Among the major projects the Power Authority has assisted with in the North Country are the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown; Jefferson Community College; the Thousand Islands Schools; and the Jefferson County Social Services Building.