By Ted Shockley


Northampton County’s new courthouse complex isn’t new anymore — and after 15 years of use, items like air conditioners are beginning to fail.

There are some other mechanical oddities — light figures that were installed but never electrified, and a massive propane tank at the Eastern Shore Regional Jail that can’t be used.

Instead of fixing everything peacemeal, the Northampton County Board of Supervisors is mulling a decision to convert air conditioning, lights and more to contemporary energy-saving systems.

Supervisors heard from a consultant on Tuesday that guaranteed the cost of eco-friendly upgrades would be offset by energy savings.

Northampton County Administrator Charles Kolakowski called it “an overall method to upgrade and replace.”

The county could save more than $90,000 annually in power costs with upgrades including LED lighting, HVAC upgrades, and other enhancements. That money would be used to pay for the upgrades.

“We really do understand the demands and challenges facing Virginia counties,” said Nathan Botwright of ABM Building Services.

The county resolved to get more information from ABM.