Financing for a $1.6 million energy savings performance project for Neshoba County was approved Monday by the Board of Supervisors in an effort to reduce utilities at the courthouse, coliseum and several other county buildings by about 35 percent.

Supervisors voted unanimously to accept the bid of Signature Public Funding at 2.99 percent interest.

County Administrator Jeff Mayo said the project is expected to move “very quickly” with new LED lighting in the courthouse, coliseum and other county buildings to be added first starting in June so that energy savings could begin.

The Board of Supervisors contracted with Schneider Electric on the energy savings project that is expected to save over $100,000 in annual energy costs, or $2.4 million throughout the life of the 20-year project.

The loan will be repaid with funds saved on utilities over the course of the project, supervisors said.

If the monthly energy saving is not enough for the payment, Schneider is obligated to pay the difference as part of its contract with Neshoba County.

The project was approved through the Mississippi Development Authority’s Energy Division.

“They approved the project and assured that it would meet the energy savings requirements,” County Administrator Jeff Mayo said.

Supervisors rebid the financing portion of the project after the initial lowest bid came in at 3.17 percent, much higher than anticipated, Mayo said.

After the first financing bid was received, the Board of Trustees of the Neshoba County Library elected to withdraw from the project for financial reasons, he said.

The library was hoping to include a new heating and cooling system.

Under the agreement, Schneider Electric developed a turnkey energy efficiency solution to reduce utility expenditures and improve such buildings as the courthouse, Justice Court annex, jail, coliseum, the Department of Human Services and county unit facility.

Each building will receive interior and exterior high efficiency LED lighting, in order to brighten areas, significantly cut energy use, and keep outdoor areas safe at night.

The larger buildings, such as the courthouse and coliseum, would be integrated into a Building Automation System which will allow the county to manage temperatures, schedules and energy usage remotely, such as from the county administrator’s office.

Additionally, the county courthouse will receive renovations to its heating, ventilation and air conditioning, a new roof, and an integrated fiber network, which will reduce data costs, allow faster data transfers, and create a single-high speed Internet connection.

The county worked with utility providers, particularly TVA and Central Electric, who  helped in energy audits and recommendations.

Schneider Electric has done similar projects in the New Albany School District and the Holly Springs School District, among others.

In other action, supervisors:

• Approved a request from Central Water Association to install a water pipe on right-of-way along Road 339 and to cross Road 1515 and Road 165.

• Approved a request from Sebastopol Natural Gas District to install pipe along Roads 210, 121, 402, 1107 and 121.

• Authorized $64,558.55 for Cain Inc.  and $9,500 for Crowder Engineering for work on Road 414.

• Approved a travel request for Constable Paul Payne to attend the 2015 Mississippi Constables Association summer training seminar in Gulfport June 5 through June 10.

• Approved employee payroll for $145,036.64.

• Approved elected official payroll for $31,074.44.

•Approved several out-of-order claims.

• Advertised for 2017-18 term bids.

• Authorized a new 25-hour support block with Teklinks for $3,750.

• Employed Attorney Morris Phillips to assist in an eminent domain case in court.

• Adopted the revised personnel policies and procedures for the county.

• Approved the acquisition of a new Broce 350 sweeper/broom for $49,970.