Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries said the biomass project involves the use of woodchips to create heat and/or electricity to supplement Trigg County Hospital’s energy needs. He also stated that the county has been given a $1 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service.
“It’s one of a few projects that were awarded throughout the nation that goes to taking material and converting it into energy,” Humphries said. “Trigg County Hospital is one of a few in the nation that received this.”
The project was open for bid Friday morning, and two firms placed bids. Boiler Specialist out of Cleveland, Ohio, bid $470,831, while Perry Bartsch out of Asheville, N.C., bid $1,298,000.
Jason Vincent, assistant director for PADD, said that since Perry Bartsch’s bid is larger than the grant, there will probably need to be some negotiations if they are chosen.
StrataG, a firm out of Knoxville, was chosen earlier as a consulting firm to help the county, the USDA and the Pennyrile Area Development District (PADD), said Vincent.
“We have been in the process of hiring someone to give us the insight to oversee the project. We hired that company back in the fall,” Humphries said. “They have to come up with a scope of work to be completed with that funding.”
The bids were sent to StrataG so they could review them, and they will then make a recommendation to Trigg County Hospital and the Trigg County Fiscal Court, which will then award the bid, Vincent said.
That recommendation could come as early as Wednesday or Thursday, and once the fiscal court makes its decision, the contractor could begin work within 60 days, said Vincent, who added that StrataG is also assisting the Lyon County Fiscal Court on its biomass project for the Lyon County School District.
The project, officially called the Trigg County Fuels for Community Health Facilities Project, is funded by money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and was announced by USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan on June 11, 2009.