Staff Writer

Findlay City Schools will end its contract early with Cenergistic, an energy conservation company, after the school board approved the move Monday evening.

This will save about $37,600 in fees, said Treasurer Mike Barnhart.

The school board approved a five-year contract with Cenergistic in July 2014. The contract included a clause allowing for an early exit in the fifth year.

The district has learned what it needs to from Cenergistic, Barnhart said, and “we just didn’t see the value in continuing out through the end of the fifth year.”

Barnhart added that “we’re not unsatisfied” with Cenergistic. “We just think, going forward, we’ve got the people in place that we can fly on our own.”

The total amount of money saved through Cenergistic was not available Monday night. The district had saved about $600,000 as of an October 2017 update.

In other business, board member Susan Russel defended the $500 payments the district made to staff who attended an educational meeting about health insurance options, which changed in the current teachers’ contract.

Letters to the editor in The Courier on Oct. 17 and Oct. 20 criticized the payments.

Out of 530 employees eligible to attend, 520 did so, for a total of $260,000 in payments.

“So all but 10 attended the conference, and became better consumers of insurance by attending the conference,” Russel said.

More employees than expected switched to a health savings account plan, she said.

The payments to employees should be covered by what the district is saving, Russel said.

When the board approved the new teachers’ contract in August, Barnhart estimated annual savings of $505,000.

Separately, the board voted to keep Chris Aldrich and Kathy Siebenaler Wilson as president and vice president, respectively.

Separately, the board accepted an anonymous $5,000 donation to Findlay First Edition.

Separately, the district received a $2,420 grant from the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation for the Ohio Association for Education of Young Children annual conference.

Separately, the board approved out-of-state travel for the eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C., in May.

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