The Okmulgee County Board of Commissioners heard a presentation regarding the authorization and use of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) on commercial buildings in the city.
Nancy Graham from INCOG, a nonprofit “committed to staying in compliance with air quality standards through key programs,” presented on C-PACE authorization.
Graham explained that it is a type of financing for clean energy improvements for commercial buildings, and that these improvements can be financed through C-PACE if a county is opted into it. If the county allows, building owners can secure the C-PACE loan on the property itself and it can be “financed through the length of the improvement.”
There was a discussion regarding the financial liability of the program, with Okmulgee County Assessor Ed Johnson asking, “If this is between the lender and borrower, why is the county having to do the resolution to okay this?
Graham explained that the county is the only entity that can approve assessments, and that improvements on these buildings are considered a benefit to the public.
“If by chance there would be a default, the county is never responsible for a payment,” she said. “It exists completely outside of county liability.”
Okmulgee Area Development Corporation Director Court Newkirk also addressed some of these concerns, saying, “The last time the county assessor and treasurer’s office had these concerns, we compared those to the concerns from the Oklahoma Municipal League, and those were handed off to the legislature.”
He added that within months new legislation was written to modify that contract and address those issues. Copies of the amended legislation were handed to the previous members of the board of commissioners–none of which are currently serving–and added that they may be able to locate that documentation in order to ease their concerns.
“I’m recommending that you would simply, by memorandum of agreement, adopt the Oklahoma C-PACE program,” Graham said.
After more discussion, including about what some of these improvements would look like, Commissioners Walker and Zoellner both mentioned wanting to ensure that there are financial “safeguards in place,” and more information was requested.
Other agenda items approved were:
• Minutes from the May 8 meeting
• Blanket Purchase Orders: District 1 to Dollar General, supplies as needed for $100
• Employee Forms: Joanna Hall, employment ceased; Genny Mooney, moved from full-time to part-time in the Treasurer’s Office
• Utility permits with District 1 and the Beggs Telephone Company
• Surplus of a District 1 excavator
• Invitation to Bid #17 for road materials for a 6-month period
• Transfer of appropriations was approved The board also approved engineering costs on the Bristlecone Road project.
Under New Business, there was a discussion regarding the proposed lease agreement on the old health department building in Beggs. It was decided that the district attorney would submit a new lease agreement, and the board will review it then.