Akron to seek voter approval to donate heating plant to hospital

11:40 AM, Aug 21, 2013   |    comments
Getty Images/DON EMMERT
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AKRON -- Mayor Don Plusquellic has announced the City of Akron's intent to donate its downtown district heating system to Akron Children's Hospital.

The donation of the system, also known as the RES plant, is pending voter approval on the November ballot.

Akron Children's Hospital says it has determined that to meet its heating needs, both now and as part of an expansion plan, it must use the RES plant. The facility, however, is in need of costly repairs that the City of Akron says it cannot afford at this time. The city and hospital have agreed the RES facility should be turned over to Children's.

The RES plant provides hot and/or chilled water to more than 50 downtown customers. Akron Children's says it will develop a transition plan which will include identifying and securing an operator for the plant.

"We are in the midst of a 10-year capital expansion plan, including the construction of a new medical tower that will require steam from the RES plant," said William Considine, President and CEO of Akron Children's Hospital. "We think this idea of transferring the RES is the best solution available at this time and I am grateful the Mayor is working hard to make this work within our time frame."

"Donating the RES facility to Akron Children's Hospital is the right thing to do for our community," noted Mayor Don Plusquellic. "Akron Children's Hospital, along with Akron General Hospital and many other downtown users, rely on the RES facility for their steam needs. This donation will allow for the capital investment required to make this a reliable energy source at a predictable cost to all of its customers, but especially Children's Hospital and General Hospital."


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