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County fuel project grows to include all towns

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - Updated: 8:06 AM

By PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

LAKE PLEASANT -- The Hamilton County Fuel Management Consolidation Project is expanding to Phase III.

If successful, Phase III will mean all the municipalities, school districts and fire and ambulance services in the county will get their gasoline and diesel fuel from tanks kept full by the county and for which the county will be responsible. Each entity would be issued a key allowing their vehicles to fill up at any county-operated facility and be billed by the county.

Fuel will cost less because the county will purchase it in bulk, and the towns will not have to maintain the tanks and key pumps or have to deal with the permitting process for them.

Phase I of the Hamilton County Fuel Management Consolidation Project merged fuel services in the towns of Lake Pleasant and Arietta and the Village of Speculator.

The project showed that when several local governments band together to apply for a grant the odds of winning increase. The nine town supervisors agree good government, efficiency, prudent spending and effective public policy and service delivery are all best served by strong collaboration among governmental entities.

PHASE II

Phase II took off in November 2013 when the county won a Local Government Efficiency Grant of $600,000, administered by the NYS Department of State, to put in new, above ground fuel tanks and backup generators at the county's highway garages in Indian Lake and Long Lake.

Superintendent of Highways Tracy Eldridge advertised for bids, and when the Board of Supervisors met Thursday, June 5, it awarded the Phase II contract to the low bidder, Shaker Flats Landscaping Inc., West Lebanon, for $683,887.

This includes the base bid of $651,987 and additional Item No. 93, a generator at the Long Lake site for $31,900.

Phase II will combine fuel services for the county, the towns of Indian Lake and Long Lake, the Indian Lake and Long Lake school districts and the fire and ambulance services in the two towns.

FUEL PHASE III

The board also voted to make the county the lead applicant in Phase III of the Hamilton County Fuel Management Consolidation Project. Phase III would share fuel services among the county; the towns of Wells, Hope, Benson, Morehouse and Inlet; and Wells Central School District.

Phase III would also decommission existing town, county and school fuel tanks and pumps and install a 6,000-gallon tank in Hope, along with fueling facilities that can be shared by neighboring communities.

The grant application, currently estimated at about $600,000, commits Hamilton County, the five towns and WCS District to a local cash match of up to $140,000.

A NEW GARAGE

The board also agreed the county would participate in a Shared Service Garage Project with the Town of Long Lake, Long Lake Fire District and Long Lake Central School District.

The resolution authorizes the County of Hamilton to join with the other three entities in preparing an application under the 2012/13 Local Government Efficiency Grant Program.

The project would allow the four governments to house and/or maintain their vehicles in a new garage costing no more than $800,000.

peteklein@hamiltoncountyexpress.com

     

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