City-owned buildings to get $27-million dollar upgrade - WDRB 41 Louisville News

City-owned buildings to get $27-million dollar upgrade

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- City-owned buildings in Louisville are about to get multi-million dollar upgrades, and it won't cost taxpayers a dime.

It's innovative new deal that will save the city both energy and tax dollars.

Mayor Greg Fischer says the deal is the first of its kind in the country. City-owned buildings like this one will get new energy-efficient equipment. And the taxpayers will not foot the bill.

The Mary T. Meagher Aquatic Center is the city's only public indoor pool. It was built in the 80s. And in some areas, it's showing its age.

The systems designed keep the air and water at the right temperatures are outdated and inefficient.

"When it gets hot outside, it gets a little bit warmer in here. As well as humidity," said Jason Canuel with Metro Parks.

It's all a product of a city budget that has been barely keeping its head above water.

"We haven't had the money until today," said Fischer as he announced that the Meagher Center and more than 100 other city buildings will get $27-million in upgrades.

They'll receive new air, heating and electrical systems paid for up-front by the Johnson Controls company.

The city will then pay Johnson Controls out of the money it saves from its energy bill.

"If the energy savings are not realized as projected because of the work of Johnson Controls, the city will not be responsible for paying that portion of the project. So. really, we can't lose<' said Fischer.

The city expects to save an average of $2-million a year, with Johnson Controls receiving $40-million from the city over 23 years.

With city budgets swimming in red ink. Mayor Fischer expects the idea to catch on.

"Now, this will go all over the world very quickly to see how cities and governments can really think innovatively to make these things happen. So, I'm sure a lot of people will be wanting to do this in the future," he said.

"It means a lot to the city. I know it means a lot to the swimmers and swim teams that use this facility," said Canuel.

The work has already begun, and is expected to wrap up by next August.

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