Douglas County leaders hope to be able to use a portion of their federal economic stimulus funds to make energy-efficient improvements to county buildings.
The county commissioners last year hired a company to audit the county’s operations and facilities to tell them about possible changes to save energy and costs.
The county has not yet committed to any of the proposed changes.
“Energy projects are a big one for us. I think it’s perfect for this because I’m not necessarily sure that we have the funds or are willing to put the funds aside for this purpose,” Assistant County Administrator Pam Madl told commissioners during their Monday meeting.
Custom Energy Inc. of Overland Park performed an audit on county facilities last year, and company officials had presented examples of energy-saving projects from upgrading lighting systems to renovating water systems to installing programmable thermostats.
Madl said the county is preparing also for possible stimulus funds to help the sheriff’s office and emergency management department.
Commissioners have already given staff members authority to request proposed stimulus funds from the state for several road improvement projects.
Commissioner Charles Jones on Monday also asked county administrators to give commissioners more information about scenarios to hire either a full-time attorney on the county payroll or estimates to seek legal services from other law firms.
Currently, the commission contracts with the Lawrence law firm Stevens and Brand LLP, and Evan Ice serves as the county counselor. Jones said the county budgeted $167,000 for legal services for 2009.
Jones said it has been several years since the county looked at its legal services, and he wanted to see it evaluated.