by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond 

City of Greensboro seeks contractor for energy efficiency outreach

The city of Greensboro issued a request for proposals on July 1 seeking a contractor to create “a strategic neighborhood based outreach plan for BetterBuildings,” a federal program funded by a $5 million grant from the US Department of Energy to the city to increase the energy efficiency of residences and businesses.

“The BetterBuildings program proposes to use a neighborhood-based approach to train community residents and volunteers to conduct door-to-door neighborhood sweeps; to deliver high-quality information on available program resources; help residents to evaluate alternative energy efficiency measures and alternative financing sources; assist with contractor selections and monitoring/evaluation of work; coordinate activities with BetterBuildings program partners; and to collect data required by the Department of Energy,” the request for proposals, or RFP, reads.

The funds will be spent across Greensboro, but the city plans to select five neighborhoods as pilot areas. Proposals are due on July 22, and staff is expected to seek approval from city council to execute a contract next month.

Legal bills accumulate as landfill options run out

With the city of Greensboro restricted by court enforcement to using the currently permitted Phase III of the White Street Landfill to receive household waste, some council members are interested to know if the life of the landfill can be stretched to 15 years. That would theoretically allow a private contractor to achieve cost savings that could be passed along to the city, as compared to operating the landfill over a shorter period. At-large Councilman Danny Thompson asked staff to determine the remaining capacity of Phase III if the city were to increase the slope of the section so that it could hold additional waste. The current unused capacity of Phase III is about four years, Field Operations Director Dale Wyrick said in a June 30 memo. Increasing the slope would increase Phase III’s life, at most, to seven and a half years.

Meanwhile, District 2 Councilman Jim Kee has asked staff to quantify the costs of hiring consultants and outside counsel to reopen the landfill. The city has paid consultant HDR $106,194 for a first RFP process and $108,000 for a second RFP process, and will pay an estimated $60,000 for a third RFP process. The city has paid Brooks Pierce law firm $1,975 to date and is expected to pay $100,000 to $200,000 to complete litigation and regulatory assistance. Hawkins Delafield & Wood is expected to receive $90,000 to $140,000 for the preparation and negotiation of a solid waste contract. All told, the cost in legal and consulting fees could come to $616,169. For comparative purposes, the city spent $1.1 million on outside counsel for all matters in the most recent fiscal year. Previous billing totaled $998,395 for fiscal year ’09-’10 and $870,919 for fiscal year ’08-’09.