The Washington Times-Herald

December 11, 2012

Company offers county gas deal

By T. Daniel Lancaster
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — Proliance Energy told Daviess County Commissioners on Monday that it would be able to save the county 20 percent in natural gas costs over the next two years.

Proliance is a company owned by Vectren and Citizen’s Gas that offers government agencies at a lower cost. Brian Hirshberg of Proliance said that much of the cost savings come from giving agencies an opportunity to lock in prices for short-term or long-term contracts.

He said a county could lock into a set rate for its three highest usage months or for up to three years, which would allow the county to set a long-term budget expense.

Hirshberg used nine current county accounts and projected a 20 percent savings. Commissioner Tony Wichman asked that Proliance proceed with providing a two-year contract that could be reviewed at the commissioners’ next meeting.

Commissioners also renewed the ambulance contract with Southwest Medical Services Inc.

The county had been signing five-year contracts in the past, but both Wayne Schuetz of Southwest and the commissioners agreed that with so much uncertainty about the upcoming federal healthcare mandate, a two-year contract might offer the best protection for both parties. Schuetz said he would certain be willing to look at changes as soon as they got a better feel for how the changes would affect everyone.

On a related note, the board also reappointed Paul Goss and Schuetz to the Ambulance Advisory Board. Due to staffing changes at Daviess Community Hospital, the commissioners discussed possible changes to the board that would provide flexibility and better represent changes in emergency management. This included a 911 dispatch representative familiar with the new system, and a representative from the fire chief associations. These changes will require a change to the ordinance.

In other business:

* Judge Greg Smith recommended the continued use of Charles Malinowski’s firm for the continued supervision of the county’s child support and recoup efforts. The new contract was approved.

* Jason Knepp was given permission to continue with the next phase of road construction for the Deer Creek Subdivision.

* Commissioners also adopted the previously discussed driving policy and the subdivision standards for road construction.