City Concerned About Deal with Dallas-Based Energy Company

Some troubling questions have been raised about a $7.3 million city project.

It was back in January that City Council members signed off on a deal with a Dallas-based company called McKinstry aimed at saving the City big bucks on its energy usage.

The understanding at the time was that the City would recoup the $7.3 million in energy savings and then some; but now, some documents have surfaced showing there were problems with the project right from the start. The City's own consultant on the project said that McKinstry had overstated the energy consumption reduction it had promised.

Assistant City Manager Oscar Martinez said he had never seen the peer review done by Stridde, Callins & Associates, Inc., the company that was hired by the City as consultants on the project.

The project is still moving ahead.

Behind City Hall, McKinstry workers were looking at the new air conditioning system being installed.

A high-placed source within the City said that the company put in the AC system but it has apparently started to shift because the concrete supports in the ground weren't built long enough.

There are also problems that have been discovered at the police department, where there is supposedly a dispute over whether McKinstry or the City is going to have to pay for more extensive air conditioning work. The cost is $300,000 and McKinstry will not continue the work, and the City hasn't decided whether to pay or not.

"There has been some communication regarding the scope of the project, but what we do have is a contract with McKinstry that assures us that we're going to realize a savings to pay for the capitol investment," Martinez said. "Otherwise, they have to make up the difference, and that's all I can really speak to right now."

Martinez said that the City plans to hold firm on this deal, and will continue to challenge points of contention.


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