ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. — The city of St. Clair Shores is officially the first city in Michigan to take advantage of a law introduced in July 2016 that allows local governments to make facility improvements leveraging flexible financing programs that are not considered debt. Through the Tax-Exempt Lease Purchase (TELP) program, St. Clair Shores will partner with Johnson Controls on city-wide upgrades, including HVAC, building automation, lighting, and water improvements.

“St. Clair Shores, managed by Mayor Kip Walby and the city council, is probably one of the best managed cities in Michigan,” said State Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R- Harrison Twp. “They are a proactive group, and I am not surprised that they would be the first to take advantage of this legislation.”

The $5.7 million project, enabled by an energy performance contract, includes new roofs at six different locations; building automation control upgrades city-wide; new HVAC equipment in many facilities; city-wide conversion to LED lighting in most buildings; LED streetlights; water conservation; and civic arena improvements to the lighting, HVAC, and ice rink.

Walby stated that more than 80 percent of the project will be funded through operational and energy savings guaranteed to result from the project upgrades. He went on to thank the city administration, particularly Bill Gambill, assistant city manager, for their innovation and hard work on this project.

A longtime proponent of energy efficiency, Gov. Rick Snyder signed House bills 4990-4994 in July of 2016, providing local governments with flexible financing plans to improve facilities and conserve energy. The law went into effect Aug. 17, 2016.

The financing arrangement, known as a Tax-Exempt Lease Purchase, makes energy performance contracts more attractive to local governments because they are not considered debt. Daniel Mack, senior account executive, Johnson Controls Inc. and the Johnson Controls team worked closely with state legislators to make this new law a reality.

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Publication date: 5/23/2017

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