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County Commission's second work session


Agriculture and Resource Conservation

Green Team Report to County Commission

Called to order

Mr. Hunzeker: green team led by Brenda Rogers

We decided that it was important to think about improving green-ness for sustainability. Brenda took up the challenge, have been meeting regularly and came up with ideas.

County employees at Tuesday's planning session
County employees attended the commission's planning session on Tuesday.

Brenda Rogers: Director of Agriculture, resource conservation.

We are here today to talk about sustainability and steps we're undertaking.

Goal we're making steps toward.

Ultimate completion is not in our realm of possibility.

Sustainability. Most commonly used. Meeting needs of present without compromising generations' ability to meet needs.

Diagram: Balancing social, human needs and environment and economics.

Every county employee is part of the effort. Increase efficiency, reduce waste.

Green Team are those who have volunteered to be on team.

Pleased to get to know employees and appreciate their contributions.

Next step is to implement sustainability leadership teams.

Teams that will take the concepts identified and evaluate those and implement them.

If we need financial resources, we'll ask you for them.

Green steps to sustainability

  1. Save water

  2. Save energy

  3. Keep air and water clean

  4. Increase energy efficiency

  5. Reduce waste, recycle

  6. Transportation

  7. Urban Forestry and landscaping

  8. Technology and Education

  9. Other

Dave Thompson will talk about saving energy.

Property management

Helping save money in county.

Projects completed

Administration building HVAC Controls Retrofit Project. Finished in March 08 for $53,000.

System dated to 70s. New system.

New light switches in hallways in common areas and passageways. June 08 for $1,200.

Saw someone shut lights off in skyway. Cheap, direct project.

Judicial center mechanical plant control improvements. Finished Jan. 09 for $4,000.

System had to sustain cooling in some zone. New system kept data centers cool.

Projects planned

HVAC Control system refit at Manatee County Detention Center. Almost finished for $200,000. Finished in June 09.

FPL thought meter was not working. Saved 1/3 of operational dollars in jail. Looking forward to seeing more results.

Energy conservation at Emergency Operations Center. Monitor how many people are in building through carbon dioxide. Cost of $30,000 completion Aug 09. Not very efficient when building is not full. This will address that. "This project will pay for itself in less than a year."

Lighting switch controls for the judicial center. Cost is $6,000, pending funding. Trying to get stairwell lights turned off.

Desoto Center on 301 Blvd. For HVAC control system. $50,000, finsihed in Nov. 09.

May 07 to April 08

$419,000 in operational costs.

May 08 to April 09


Proud of that. Dollars back to board. Similar results expected.

Judicial center: Oct. 07 to March 08: $322,363

Oct. 08-March 09: $253,132.

Drop in kwh

What they're doing. Working to identify average cost per square foot in admin building.

Process of evaluating all buildings and jails, looking at differences in design. Meeting with adjoining counties. Seeing how we can do better and learn from other counties.

Any questions?

Brown: Thank you.

Someone e-mailed me about all the lights. Security person checks things. Have we curtailed the number of lights on?

Ans. Yes. Some lights cannot be turned off and need to be on. All the rest can be turned off somehow. Asking people to turn off office lights when they leave. Looking for more high-tech solutions.

Night guards are in judicial center. Guard monitors from 6:30 p.m. Until cleaning services are done.

Brown: Thank you.

McClash: Thank you for report. Benefits are better comfort levels. Save energy, cut pollution. That's benefit people need to realize. Keep up good work. Returns on investment are definitely there in 2-3 years. Anytime you can do that, it's good.

Thompson: Can interconnect the buildings and are on I-net and can see buildings from any office. Can fix problems and complaints from home.

Brown: That's great.

Whitmore: McClash mentioned Judicial Center. I want to compliment you on presentation.

Getman: I appreciate all the work you've been doing. Are you using motion detector switches?

Thompson: We haven't yet. Better to get it into building at construction. Hard to retrofit. About $70 to buy, half-hour to install. Takes a long time to over come that.

Getman: Lights come on and off automatically.

Thompson: We're glad to do that where we can.

Getman: What about photovoltaics?

Thompson: I don't know the answer to that.

Rogers: A lot of folks are looking at where the best applications are.

Thompson: Some stuff at G.T. Bray Park.

Brown: Some things could be done in the beginning. I get calls from people around the Peace River. Can we educate the public about energy-efficient things?

Thompson: Brenda will do that.

McClash: House in Robinson Preserve out there can go on photovoltaics. Looking at that. Hot water solar collectors. Show public demonstration.

Whitmore: Or maybe they can just use fans.

Brown: Thank you.

Bustle: Property management department doing well and making facillities a better place to live and work. Lets people focus on their task. Department directors appreciate being able to focus on their task.

Brown: I appreciate cleaning service at night.

Thompson: It was part of reorg.

Brown: Please look at outlets in the ninth floor. Some are not giving out the juice they should.

Thompson: I will see that it works.

Rogers: Efforts to keep air and water clean.

Many projects are in this vein, we are fully prepared to handle any emergency. Programs in place for county government. Nutrient reduction to help seagrasses. Minimize fertilizer use. Programs for water quality and biodegredable dog bags. Water conservation, not using storm drains for waste removal.

In buildings using green cleaning materials.

Next point is increasing energy efficiency.

Replacing aerators, propane to natural gas at jail.

Using methane as an alternative fuel. Number of areas in category that we are underway.

Mike Brennan, public works.

Increase in efficiency.

Traffic signals and school warning signals are running on solar power.

Staff can program them to change them from the office.

All run off solar power.

Same thing with street lights. Using LEDs.

Stimulus. Seeking more solar power for street lighting.

Solar initiatives for power reduction.

Reducing waste and recycing.

In 2008, collected 153 tons of steel, including 7.6 tons of brass. Taken to recyclers and generate revenue.

2009 goals are less due to economy.

Chart in handout shows where we're out.

Road maintenance crews. Asphalt millings, 20 % reused in street paving effort. Goal less in 2009 because of economy.

Roadside debris: pick that up. Over 200 tons of recycled material.

Fleet division, recycle waste oil, tires, etc.

8,900 gallons of used motor oil. Get paid.

640 gallons of coolant

1,000 scrap tires

425 car batteries.


Operate large fleet of vehicles. Infrastructure not there yet for alternative fuel vehicles. Added 3 hybrid buses and 3 hybrid sedans to prepare for service.

Some vehicles can run on gas or E85.

Expect initiatives will continue with hybrid vehicles.

Compliance with emissions standards. Not regulated yet by EPA. On-road vehicles are regulated. Off-road undergoing a similar change. Phase-in from 2010 to 2020 to implement those vehicles.

Lights off, office recycling, promote efforts.


Brown: Whose idea was it to do recycling in parade?

Rogers: Float committee

Brown: It was a great idea. Comments were good. That was real smart.

Rogers: It was Mike's idea.

Whitmore: I've never seen so many thousands of people and saying "I recycle." Are hybrid buses in service now?

Mike Brennan: They are being worked on and will hit the street soon.

Whitmore: Whose buses are for Route 99?

Brennan: Yes.

Rogers: Other comments on reduce waste and recycle. Using electronic scanning and storage. Made archiving more accessible. Planning reduced from six to four sets. Goal is to make it all electronic.

40% of waste stream being recycled.

Whitmore: First time we'll be running a meeting electronically. First experiment to see how it works.

McClash: Hope to have recycling at preserves and parks. When you're at home you're taught to recycle, but when you're out at a park you can't. We need to figure that out. Same truck passes by Robinson Preserve once a week. We have to get that example going.

Rogers: We do have recycling centers available in county departments.

Next: Urban forestry and landscaping

Using best practices and enouraging their use. Mowing techniques applied, and all yard waste is recycled.

Government owns 30,000 acres of lands. Using reclaimed water when possible.

Technology and education

Using technology to make it more efficient. In 2008, 45,000 certifications finished. Saved time and paper. Electronic work orders, applications for jobs online, complete hiring process would be done online. Save 10-25 pages per applications.

Contractor renewals and inspector requestes sent electronically.

Coordinated with United Way to share an electronic application. Saves them and the agencies time and money.

Natural Resources department. Online well permits with SWFMD. Many filed electronically. Fax machine application. Tracking and controlling energy use in buildings. Mapping programs, radio devices for meter reading, measuring pumping capacity.

We have a number of activities in the area of technology.

Low-impact development, provide programs for the public. This report will be on county's site really soon and public will be able to access resources.

Sponsored e-Fest and had showing of county departments. Sustainability float for parade.

Report also has sustainability goals. Each department participated in this list.

Concludes report.

Tuesday morning. National County Government Week. Hybrid bus parked in alley.

Whitmore: Public thinks we aren't environmentally conscious. Shows cup. Have we thought about ways? Plastic containers take 1,000 years to break down.

Rogers: We are trying to encourage that effort. Some resistance to that effort. Trying to get people to bring in own glasses and cups.

Whitmore: Even paper cups last a long time.

Rogers: Teaching people to use styrofoam for drainage.

McClash: What is total kwh demand of all county buildings, and compare to last year. I'd like to follow up on David's benchmarking to see how we're doing with energy usage. I think that's good to show us what progress we're making. Should be more than once a year. How well are we doing.

Rogers: Talking about doing a report on a quarterly basis.

McClash: We were dealing with a comprehensive plan issue of wood chips into electricity. Opportunity for us to negotiate with us to buy electricity. Kind of exciting if they can deliver what they say.

Rogers: One other document available next week will give concepts we're talking about today.

McClash: Why are water rebates for single-family houses, but not multi-family houses. Just wanted to bring that up.

Rogers: One additional area: Green business initiative.

Brown: I want a speaker for committee. Who do I call?

Rogers: Call me and I'll help you coordinate it.

Neil Spirtas, Manatee Chamber of Commerce

Green business initiative

Commend green team.

Mention logo. We painted it green.

Talk about business community and has planned for the community. Will take business community to partner and be successful.

Goal of chamber to preserve resources and responsible energy solutions and protecting way of life.

What is accomplished?

Created in Nov. 2007

Committee became fastest-growing. Done educational events.

Residents and businesses alike.

Job prospects.

Water horizon

Oil prices.

Seminar on money for your business by cutting energy usage. Showing a 10% savings. Eligible for favorable rates on loans for expansion.

Efest sponsor in Nov. 08.

Green business certifications effort.

Working with businesses in community to help them get certified. Develop task forces, editorial, etc.

Recognizing businesses and providing guidance and hands-on technical information. Certification one-year cycles.

Partnering efforts in incentives. Companies willing to go through process.

Why partnering is a good thing.

Job creation, federal and state mandates, economic recovery, Florida Chamber survey.

72% said making a difference in community was reason for going green.

Green potential

SMR green community

Biomass at port

Biosolids dryer facility

Lake Manatee watershed

Water usage and facility fees.

Existing prospective nucleus of industries.

MTI got grant for photovoltaics

FPL solar facility

Chamber initiatives

Green certified governmental incentive options

Rapid response team

Four levels of certification

Intensify CRA density bonuses

Maintain current policy for innovative green water developments.

Solar permitting

Tap/upgrade landscaping via tree fund.

Extend life of permits.


Make a difference in community

Implement changes in next cycle.

Pursue infill/redevelopment in work session

Quantify incentives/specifics with board buy in

July timeframe

Any questions?

Rogers: Exhibits in lobby and hybrid bus in alley. And citizens can talk to someone

Tuesday 8:30 a.m. To 1 p.m.

Brown: Can we get a rain barrel?

Rogers: Yes.

Brown: My family had a rain barrel. Used for grandmother's peas. Torn down in the 2000-1. That's how long it was there.

Whitmore: I attached PVC pipe to air conditioners. You can educate public on that.

Rogers: It's amazing how much water is generated.

Candy Peterson, parks and recreation: Address concern about recycling in the parks. We have bins in parks.

McClash: Make sure preserves get that. That was a point we brought up years ago.

Meeting adjourned.


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