Burn Ban reinstated for 2 weeks, presentations given on security, insurance and lighting retro-fits

By: 
JOSEPH GRANT
Staff Writer

The Nolan County Commissioner’s Court held their regular meeting on March 12 at 9:00 a.m., in the County Courthouse, Sweetwater.
The Commissioners’ Court considered and then approved a reinstatement of the burn ban for a period of two weeks.
The Court then heard a presentation from Schneider Electric on a lighting project retro-fits for the exterior of the jail, the courthouse, the library and the Nolan County Coliseum, as well. In the end, this project would save Nolan County money, representatives from Schneider asserted. The buildings have longer run hours, which make them excellent candidates for retro-fits. There would be a fifty percent reduction on the interior lighting and a seventy-five percent on the exterior as the lighting would be on timers. The courthouse would be occupied approximately 3,000 hours a year. The product would last about 100,000 hours over thirty years. There would be no more ballasts or bulbs to replace as the lighting would be LED and last longer as well as an improvement in lighting quality. LED would be a vast improvement over the high pressure sodium lighting. The entire project would result in significant savings for the County. The payback would come in about seven years, the same as the warranty. The savings for the County is guaranteed each year at $43,120. There would also be a rebate from the utility company, Oncor. The estimate for that is about $35,000. Schneider is willing to work with the County on emending the standard contract to meet the County’s specifications, per the County Attorney’s request for changes the County would like to make.
A representative from TAC gave a detailed midyear insurance review as renewal season is coming up. The loss ratio report is better than last year, which was at one hundred twenty-eight percent. Eighty-eight percent of the total contributions went towards claims. The typical average is closer to seventy-five percent. Twenty-three percent of these claims went towards pharmaceuticals. For ten months out of last year, pharmacy exceeded medical costs. There were nineteen high cost claims in the Nolan County area. This means that the claims exceed $10,000. Fifteen of these were in January alone. Teladoc will be available in Nolan County soon. This is a feature new to TAC wherein a patient can FaceTime or Skype with a physician and describe their symptoms so that the medical provider can diagnose their illness and send their prescription to the pharmacy.
The official renewals from TAC will be out by mid-June.
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