Clinton County commissioners discuss solar panels on the sheriff's office and jail

Clinton County commissioners are open to solar panels being installed at the sheriff's office and jail. But they say there are other alternatives.

Posted: Oct 25, 2019 5:09 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2019 6:16 PM

CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—In 2018 the sheriff's office paid more than $170,000 in power, water and sewer. This year to date the office has already paid more than $130,000 dollars in utilities.

"The county council asked the sheriff to take a look into to seeing if there were alternatives available such as solar panels,” said County Commissioner Josh Uitts.

Uitts said there are many factors the county has to take into consideration before making a decision like this.

"We just put a brand new roof on the jail and we're not sure if installing solar panels over the roof, what's that going to do to our warranty, “said Uitts. “What does it look like to the electrical system at the jail."

He said the sheriff's office is nearly thirty years old and there are other repairs that need to be made.

"It's due for some upgrades as far as HVAC, which would make a huge difference on their utility cost and their lighting systems I'm sure,” said Uitts.

Uitts also said the sheriff's office may not have the proper budget to handle bill overages.

"I'm not sure that the budget had always been increased annually to project for possible increases,” said Uitts.

General Manager for the Frankfort Municipal Utilities, Todd Corrie, said there could be many reasons why the sheriff's office utility bill has increased.

"The jail is completely maxed out with people and if you are running air conditioning units, you're running lights, things like that,” said Corrie.

Uitts said any decision made could have lasting effects.

"I'm not always going to be doing this job,” said Uitts. “So I don't want to put the next person who's in this position in a different spot because of a decision I've made."

To read the previous story click here.

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