Mary Davis Home to receive bump in state aid

The Mary Davis Home is slated to get a significant bump in state aid.

Superintendent Wendy Steck told Knox County board members at the Mary Davis Home’s oversight committee meeting that the state was nearly fully funding the juvenile detention center.

“I do have a number that we did get and it is significantly higher than what we received last year,” Steck told the committee. “Last year, we received $796,735. This year we will be receiving $1,190,631.”

She said that the money would go to the counselors that are reimbursed as well as the superintendent and assistants.

Steck did break some bad news to the committee. The power outage from June 26th led to the failure of the emergency generator and the discovery of some needed repairs.

Additionally, she said that the compressor of one of the air conditioning units went out and was to be replaced and installed.

The same committee, which also oversees the sheriff’s department, courthouse, and buildings received some good news on their energy-saving assessment.

SmartWatt, the company that was hired by Knox County to do the energy assessment and find cost savings through efficiency upgrades at county-owned facilities, has indicated they’re wrapping up with their assessment.

Orry Cummings with the company presented to the Knox County Building Committee last night, telling them that they were around 80-percent complete with their assessment.

He told the committee the next step was to hold a “toggling meeting” where the county would be able to see the individual cost savings for each project and how they would save money over the long-term with each option.

Additionally, it would show how long it would take to pay for the whole project through the smaller, but more cost-saving, upgrades.

“It might start off at a 13-year project but you really want to do this mechanical piece — but mechanical equipment usually has a longer payback. So that might kick it out to 14 years or 15 years. Obviously, the lighting and some of those quicker payback — low hanging fruit — those are really what supports the project.”

The building committee also was given an update to some other projects around the courthouse – one of which — a spiral staircase for the circuit clerk — has been delayed several times, most recently due to a jury trial.

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