ALEXANDER COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Alexander County, Illinois officials are finding ways to save thousands of dollars for the county by being innovative with county bills.
The county is teaming with SmartWatt, a company that specializes in energy-systems optimization to maximize the value of the county's energy systems.
The project, spearheaded by Alexander County chairman Chalen Tatum, savings in energy costs to Alexander County and its taxpayers without requiring any initial capital investment by the county.
With Alexander County as one the poorest counties in Illinois, Jason Tubbs, the County Building Commissioners says the leaders are trying to find ways to come out of their deficit.
"Financially speaking we are dire straits, he said. "Our county is broke, really borrowing Peter to pay Paul." Tubbs said. "We need to save every penny we can and start implementing as many programs as we can to save the county money."
Tubbs says that starts with programs like SmartWatt upgrade energy systems at some of the county buildings. A state grant is paying for it.
"Basically, looking at all of the energy used in our buildings from the HVAC from lighting, lighting fixtures, doors, windows, we are going to upgrade those, Tubbs said.
With 44-percent savings on energy bill and no additional cost to taxpayers, Edie Bridges who lives in the county is happy.
"Anywhere where we can save a dollar that's what we need to be doing because as a tax payer, we work hard," she said.
"It's the pennies that make the dollars for our county," said Tubbs.
The county chairman says the money saved on utility bills can be used to pay for desperately needed things like keeping their ambulances and other vehicles updated.