NASELLE - Alan Bennett, superintendent of the Naselle-Grays River Valley School District, recently released information on the heating oil consumption at the Rosburg School.

The building has been heated in the past by a circa 1965 fuel oil boiler. This is a very inefficient solution to the heating of that building, according to Bennett, but noted that the building is a valuable asset to the community. The building reverts back to county use as of Sept. 1. This has caused both the district and the county to work to get the building as efficient as possible before that date.

"In an effort to reduce costs, and help ensure the future of the Rosburg School, the district worked in partnership with Wahkiakum County Commissioners, who authorized payment for the district to put propane heaters in the gym and three classrooms.

This allows increased comfort level in the individual rooms and the gym, while lowering the overall thermostat level. It also gave the county some data on which to base their projected future costs at the facility. It was prudent for the county to get some base-line data on the feasibility of in-room heaters before installing them in the whole facility.

Last year the diesel bill paid for Rosburg was as follows:

11/04 $2,072.31

12/04 $2,047.37

1/05 $1,891.86

2/05 $1,691.74

3/05 $2,297.42

4/05 $1,411.96

Total $11,412.66

This year:

12/05 $2,073.77

2/06 $980.98

Total $3,054.75

"I was hoping we could cut fuel costs in half. We accomplished that, and more," said Bennett. "This is even with factoring in the costs for propane, and the fact that fuel was higher this year. I think it is clear that the building can be heated much more reasonably than it has in the past, and more comfortably as well."

One variable that cannot be fully accounted for is the savings that will come about in August when the district and the county partnered to insulate the school's attic.

"The county bought the materials, and the district paid for the installation," said Bennett. "It previously had no attic insulation. This has obviously helped as well. All in all, there is good news here."

Bennett said that by working together, they have saved the district money in the short term, saved the county money for the long term, and made the continued operation of Rosburg School more feasible as an asset to the community.

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