|City Joint Fueling Station Put On Hold|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Tuesday, 24 December 2013 00:00|
Tipp City will not take immediate action on the findings of a feasibility study of a joint fueling facility with the schools and Monroe Township.
The city council, though, did support city staff recommendations for possible future measures on a fueling facility and other steps such as reviewing vehicle idling, driver training to conserve fuel and changing vehicle replacement criteria.
City Manager Jon Crusey and Brad Vath, assistant city manager, discussed the study results with the council Dec. 16.
The study was paid for with a $12,000 Local Government Innovation Fund grant. Another $1,346 was spent on the study through in-kind services.
The schools now have a fueling site near Nevin Coppock School while the city and township buy gas from local retailers with a discount.
Grants for feasibility studies and implementation were offered by the state to promote efficiency, mergers and shared services among local governments.
The city, schools and township each will review the study findings for possible action.
Study money was used for a high-level options analysis by Clean Fuels Ohio ($6,750 cost); preliminary site survey and layout by Choice One Engineering ($3,770); and a petroleum facility analysis and layout by Reliable Construction Co. ($1,500). The $1,346 of in-kind services listed involved time by each entity in assisting with information for the study.
The three entities combined had 137 vehicles in fleets using an annual average 93,322 gallons of fuel with annual fuel costs of $265,000. Of that, 39,953 gallons was gasoline and 53,379 gallons diesel.
Three potential fueling station locations were reviewed: At the bus barn at the North Hyatt Street School Complex; in the dead end area of Donn Davis Way behind the post office; and at the new city utility center site at 301 N. Sixth St.
For a joint conventional fueling station the costs ranged from $342,000 to $862,000 for the three sites. The most cost effective location would be the utility center site on Sixth Street.
If all three entities participated in a joint facility, the return on investment was set at around 10 years. If only the city would be involved in a fueling facility, the return on investment extends to 15 years because lower volumes of fuel would be involved.
The estimated potential savings from a joint facility was $22,000 for the city, $10,000 for the schools and $1,400 for the township.
Also explored were a propane fueling station and a compressed natural gas station.
The latter was not seen as cost effective due to a large upfront investment for equipment. The propane fueling station, at an estimated $60,700 cost, was presented in two scenarios. The first involved 12 buses, which could lead to an estimated $20,700 in fuel savings annually. The return on investment period was estimated at around 10.35 years or just less than five years with grants.
A second propane option looked at a bus, five pickups and six sedans with propane for an estimated $28,075 annual fuel savings and a 5.5- to 5.9-year return on investment.
The study recommended the following possible action on each fuel source:
~Diesel and no-lead facility: maybe
~Propane facility: yes to the five to 10-year return on investment for buses
~Biodiesel and ethanol: no
~Compressed Natural Gas: no
~Hybrid vehicles: maybe
~Electric vehicles: maybe
Among other study recommendations were a look at a possible grant for diesel emission reduction grants for buses; develop a green fleet plan; review/implement vehicle life cycle and replacement policies (point based system, not just years and miles); possible driver training program or anti-idling and fuel efficient driving practices; and school bus fuel operated heaters.
The next steps were outlined for council as follows:
~The city will reserve space for a joint fueling facility as part of the electric utility center design process (the North Sixth Street site).
~Explore training options for staff regarding driving practices, vehicle idling. Crusey suggested the Miami Valley Cable Council might be able to assist with such training.
~Review future vehicle purchases and see if any viability to including green vehicles
~Potential first project: propane system.
The three partners also must decide if there are any of the fueling options they want to pursue.