Scott Langenkamp, a worker with Brackett Builders in Troy, worked within the sanctuary of the Beth Abraham Synagogue on Sugar Camp Circle in Oakwood in this 2008 file photo. Staff photo by Chris Stewart
Photo: Chris Stewart/Chris Stewart
Photo: Chris Stewart/Chris Stewart

PACE bonds to ease energy costs for Oakwood synagogue

The Beth Abraham Synagogue in Oakwood could be a step closer to lower energy costs after the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority Tuesday approved energy bonds for the property.

The board voted unanimously to approve the issuance of $1.355 million in taxable Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) bonds within the Southwest Ohio Regional Bond Fund program.

In a PACE project, the cost of new energy equipment is repaid for a period of time via an assessment added to a property’s tax bill.

In this case, the project will fund key energy efficiency improvements, such as a new heating-ventilation and air-conditioning system, LED lighting, boilers, automation controls, new electrical service and engineering changes and more.

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Currently, the synagogue community bears utility costs of some $137,000 a year on average, Mike Novakov, vice president of DiPerna Advisors, told the Port Authority board. The synagogue today is on a campus-wide utility system connecting four separate buildings, most of them medical office buildings.

“They’re responsible for 35 percent of utilities and electric costs, regardless of what they use — and they only use the facility two or three times a week,” Novakov said of Beth Abraham.

This project is basically getting the property on an independent utility and electrical system, he said. He expects a net savings for the property of about $24,000.

“Right off the bat for them, it’s a good deal just based on utility savings,” Novakov said.

The synagogue, covering about 48,000 square feet, is at 305 Sugar Camp Circle in a building NCR built in the early 1970s, said Jerry Brunswick, executive director of the Port Authority.

“It’s significant savings,” Brunswick said. “It’s a great location, as you know.”

Beth Abraham purchased the building in 2008 for about $2 million, investing about $4.5 million in renovations, Novakov said.

The city of Oakwood would have to approve the project, but Novakov said he expects no problems in that regard.

PACE is a tool the Port Authority has offered Dayton property owners in the past, including the cluster of Front Street buildings in 2017. 

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