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Chisago Lakes Schools

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August 3, 2020

7/31/2020 11:58:00 AM
Chisago Lakes School Board holds special session to hire Food Service Director

The Chisago Lakes School Board held a special meeting on Monday, July 27 with the purpose of hiring their new Director of Food Services at longtime employee Kathy Burrill retired.

The board announced they had selected Laura Cierzan from South Washington County Schools. Cierzan was the Nutrition Services Supervisor at the district of over 18,000 students. That district includes three large high schools -- Woodbury, Park of Cottage Grove and East Ridge, as well as 25 other lower level schools.

Cierzan is a Forest Lake resident, and Darci Peckman-Krueger. Director of Human Resources, said, “We are very excited for Laura to come and work with us and she has a great amount of experience in the field. We are excited to have her.”

Cierzan will begin on August 24, as she needed to give four-week notice.

The board also approved a study on converting to LED lights throughout the whole district, with Noble Conservation Solutions.
Noble guarantees the project will pay for itself. They estimated the $1.3 million project price tag would be paid for itself in energy savings within six years.

In those numbers, they factor in $330,000 of rebates from Xcel Energy, an estimated $103,000 in energy savings per year, and nearly $75,000 per year combined in equipment and maintenence savings, as well as air condition savings, as the LED lights produce little to no heat compared to the older fixtures around the buildings.

Director of Buildings and Grounds Steve Mikutowski noted, “ The price tag is a little high but it will be paid for through energy savings. The goal is to save energy, which saves us money. It would also bring uniformity with all LED fixtures and we’d rid ourselves of recycling and maintenence cost. The lifetime on these bulbs is 10 years and greater and our maintenence staff could be more efficient.”

Mikutowski also explained that the district’s rebate from Xcel is coming to an end at the end of August and they stand to lose about $110,000 in rebate savings if the district doesn’t act prior to that. “It’s a little bit of a crunch, but it’s well worth it,” Mikutowski said.
The initial comprehensive study is $45,000 and is the only up front cost, and then Noble will be able to tell the district exactly how much they save. Mikutowski said the rest will be financed through money saved from energy costs so there is no other cost out of pocket. He said he spoked with the Building and Grounds Director of Waconia Schools, who had a similar project complete, and they were very satisfied with the work that Noble did.

Board member Lori Berg asked about a similar project former Director of Building and Grounds Tim Burton undertook. Jennissen said the district did realize some savings from that project since it was done, and Mikutowski added that even since then, technology has just gotten so much better and the energy savings are “unreal”.

Both Mikutowski and Superintendent Dean Jennissen did mention potentially switching the Pat Collins Field lights over to LED, potentially with this project. The cost and savings estimates do not currently include those lights, but Mikutowski explained that they are a very expensive and troublesome fixture that could be aided by converting to more energy efficient and longer lasting bulbs.
The motion to call for the study at $45,000 was approved, and Noble will produce the study and present a contract to review and approve once the study is completed.

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