Lamar County Courthouse Stock

The Lamar County Courthouse

A $2.8 million preliminary proposal that includes the replacement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at the Lamar County Courthouse and energy saving devices at other county buildings is on the table.

Consultants from Performance Services, a guaranteed energy savings company that recently completed work at Paris ISD, gave a presentation to Lamar County Commissioners’ Court at a meeting last week after completing a preliminary utility audit of county buildings.

“A guaranteed energy savings contract would help the county save energy as you complete projects you are already considering,” said Ira Nicodemus, the company’s business development manager for North Texas.

The replacement of heating and air cooling systems at the courthouse, along with a fresh air treatment device and control measures to prevent humidity inside the building and to maintain positive air pressure comes with the highest price tag estimated at $1.5 million.

Nicodemus cited issues to include moisture penetration, humidity and condensation caused mainly by untreated air; 18-year-old chillers and aging boilers, inefficient chilled water and hot water systems and outdated, non-functional controls.

Other county facilities including the Courthouse Annex, the Sheriff’s Office and Lamar County Jail and the adult probation, juvenile probation and Red Cross buildings would receive updated heating, ventilation and air conditioning control systems where needed, both exterior and interior LED lighting and water conservation measures including low flow fixtures, and at the jail, remote programming for its water use controls.

The Courthouse Annex would receive about a $100,000 upgrade to its air system, lighting and water conservation for all buildings comes in at $400,000 while another $400,000 is allotted for design, project management, commissioning, bonding and contingency to cover any changes that might occur. Another $400,000 is included to cover any year guaranteed energy savings to the county fall below $57,000. The amount also includes profit for the company, Nicodemus said.

Over a 20-year period, Nicodemus said the company guarantees an estimated $1,043,800 in utility savings in addition to a possible $172,253 in rebates. Savings sources come from utility savings, operational savings, capital cost avoidance and utility incentives. Current annual utility costs of $168,333 for electricity, $24,675 for natural gas and $93,413 for water/sewer for a total utility cost of $286,421 would serve as a baseline for utility savings.

As for a projected timeline, Nicodemus said with a letter of intent signed by mid-March and project approval in May, Priority 1 work would begin in late May with a 12-week schedule to address courthouse humidity and pressurization along with boilers. Water control and lighting at other county buildings also would be addressed.

Priority 2 work, with a 20-week schedule to begin in late August, would address courthouse air chillers, pumps, piping, control valves at fan coils and third party commissioning of the heating, ventilation and cooling system. Work on the courthouse roof would be coordinated with expected roof repair, Nicodemus said.

Following the presentation, commissioners took no action.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at

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