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Eaton County complex energy upgrades are nearly complete

Eaton County complex energy upgrades are nearly complete
Posted at 9:39 AM, Oct 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-25 09:39:46-04

CHARLOTTE, Mich. — Eaton County officials say they are almost done with a $5 million project that is slated to bring the county's energy efficiency into the 21st century.

It's fair to say that it's been a few years since the Eaton County governmental complex has seen any major updates.

The courthouse and many of the other buildings were built back the mid 1970s, and it was becoming an issue.

"We had some leaks and we've fixed 'em because the roof has been completely replaced, and we have this new membrane, which is going to save us energy," said Eaton County Board of Commissioners Chair Jeremy Whittum.

Earlier this year, the board voted to move forward with a multi-pronged energy project to fix the roof, install solar arrays and get modern HVAC systems in place.

The most obvious upgrades can be seen in the parking lots where several parking solar panel arrays have been installed.

"No later than Jan. 1 the solar panel panel array behind me will be up and operating, and it will have a substantial reduction in our energy costs and our cost-savings to the taxpayer," said Whittum.

There are five solar panel arrays in this area, and they are going to be responsible for powering three buildings here on the county complex.

"This adds more money to the bottom line and allows us to have more funds to pay for additional police protection or staff the other departments at the county," said Terrance Augustine, a board member.

In all, four solar arrays will be a part of the energy upgrade powering the complex's 11 buildings.

The project is being funding mostly using American Rescue Plan Act funds and is projected to save the county about 30% in energy costs.

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Travis Hicks

3:45 PM, May 23, 2022

Charlotte & Eaton Rapids

Neighborhood Reporter

Travis Hicks

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