SHIRLEY -- Selectmen Monday night accepted the Energy Committee's unanimous recommendation to seal a one-year maintenance agreement with ABM Building Solutions, the Woburn firm they signed a long-term performance contract with last year.

Town Meeting approved borrowing to pay for the 15-year contract, but annual upkeep of the seven town buildings covered under it was not included. Thus the maintenance agreement, which provides regular check-ups and other services.

ABM audited each building for energy efficiency and as part of the original contract agreed to perform necessary upgrades and repair or replace equipment as needed.

Those buildings are: Town Offices, Hazen Memorial Library, Senior Center, War Memorial Building, DPW garage and the police and fire stations.

Most of that work has been done.

EC Chairman Bryan Dumont presented the new contract to the board, including the scope of the work ABM agrees to perform for about $19,800, 00, identified in the town budget as a "building maintenance" under the line item for public buildings.

Selectman David Swain asked if most of the annual outlay for maintenance would come back to the town via savings realized from work ABM did in the buildings, including insulation, new or converted boilers in the Senior Center, fire station and War Memorial Building and an extensive upgrade of the Town Offices HVAC system.

Dumont indicated that was the case but it wasn't clear from the discussion how that will work in terms of the budget.


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Swain also asked if ABM would give the town a discount if payment were made up front versus monthly. Dumont said he'd ask.

Anyway, he was as enthused as ever about the energy-saving progress the ABM alliance represents for the town. "Issues in this (Town Offices) building were stunning," he said. And not in a good way, apparently.

For example, regulators that determine when heating or air conditioning systems kick in and off were out of synch and had to be reset or replaced so that multiple devices in the building can "talk to each other," he said.

"At the end of the day" savings could come to even more than ABM bargained for once all the work they've agreed to do is complete, Dumont said.

Scope of the maintenance work, separate from the performance contract, includes two major inspections a year and preventative maintenance tests to spell out what needs to be done to keep equipment in good repair and systems operating efficiently.

Some items would cost extra, if an unexpected breakdown occurs, as Swain pointed out, but if the equipment in question is purchased from ABM, the company offers a discount.