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Library sees utility savings with geothermal
new slt library
Metal artwork by Great Bend artist Bob Mix is on display inside the Great Bend Public Library. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

New microfilm reader-printer ordered

Great Bend Public Library is getting a new microfilm reader-printer from Salina Blueprint. The GBPL Board awarded the contract to “Salina Blue,” the low bidder, for $6,495. The Friends of the Library will contribute $2,500 toward the cost.
The library will give its oldest microfilm reader to the Barton County Historical Society.

The geothermal heating and air conditioning system installed in the Great Bend Public Library building at the end of 2014 may never pay for itself, but it has resulted in lower utility costs. At Monday’s Library Board meeting, GBPL Director Harry Willems shared month-by-month fees for gas and electricity for both years, showing a net savings of $6,823.
The savings ranged from $52.23 for the month of July to $1,747.81 for May utilities. Willems did note that the 2015 utilities were atypical because the library was closed and a temporary site was used from January through April during remodeling.

Total utilities for 2014 were $64,480 for electricity (Wheatland) and $4,382 for gas (Kansas Gas Service), or a total of $68,863; total utilities for 2015 were $60,358 for electricity and $1,681 for gas, for a total of $62,040.
In February of 2014, the Great Bend City Council agreed to loan the library board $762,013 to pay for the new heating and air conditioning system. To repay the money, the board authorized the city to retain a quarterly $25,000 installment from its mill distribution until it is paid in full, sometime around 2022.

Although the system is relatively new, an HVAC maintenance agreement was approved by the board on Monday. The contract was awarded to the low bidder, Hays-based Reliable Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning, for $6,800. The library’s own maintenance staff will change the air filters on all of the equipment as needed. Willems said there are 100 filters and they don’t all need to be changed at the same time.