The price at the pump can be painful for every day motorists, even at the county level where officials are working to consolidate gas usage.
That work is already underway in Walton County, where the public works department has found a way to keep the impact minimal.
Walton County buys gasoline in big amounts, but they’re still paying near the state average between $3.49 and $3.59. Their way of filling up works out but they have to watch what they consume.
It’s the end of the day, and public works trucks are filling up and headed out until starting work again Tuesday morning. But with rising gas prices, workers have to think twice about how much they drive
Ken Little, head of citizen services explains that “…it’s always a concern for ongoing operations. we’ve got 1162 miles of road in the county 550 give or take vehicles give or take to maintain those roads and associated storm water and right of way, so we have to be very in-tune to the cost of fuel in our operations.”
And that means buying huge amounts of fuel at one time. The county buys to fill up these 1200 gallon tanks that fill up the trucks.
Little points out “…so you buy in bulk…and use it down before you have to buy more at a higher price.”
All truck drivers have to do is drive in and fill up, but a computer system eliminates the possibility of anyone abusing the county-wide gas stations.
Little shows “…there is a metering system and the vehicles have to be registered in the system. You key in the number, key in the driver’s identification number, and then you can pump gas.”
but not only does public works have to keep close tabs on how much they use, they have to keep tabs on what goes in and comes out of the trucks
In this storage tank is where they keep urea, which is a new additive that public works is using to comply with emissions laws.
The additive is injected into this part of the truck, so it burns off all the hydrocarbons. For drivers driving behind these vehicles, they don’t smell any exhaust. You can even look at the pipe and see that it’s perfectly clean.
There’s more to this gas business than is revealed at first glance.
Public works is responsible for keeping all 537 county vehicles working well and gassed up each day.