Valdosta adopts fuel saving plan - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta adopts fuel saving plan

June 12, 2008

Valdosta - The City of Valdosta says their fuel costs have doubled over the past twelve months.

In fact, they expect two spend nearly $2 million on gas for the 2009 fiscal year.

To be more fuel efficient, the city has implemented a 15 step plan.

"We are faced with challenging times and must respond much like the citizens across our city, state and nation and look for ways to reduce our fuel consumption.  We all are faced with the reality of making major adjustments in our personal and professional lives to accommodate for the rising costs of fuel, food and other basic necessities we are experiencing," says City Manager Larry Hanson.

The 15 steps are:

  • Each department head must provide written justification for employees who have take-home vehicles.
  • Daily mileage log sheets will be maintained in all City vehicles.
  • The Maintenance Center will develop and implement a system for tracking fuel usage on small equipment.
  • The City will be analyzing the purchase of smaller vehicle models that have greater fuel efficiency and has already purchased a hybrid vehicle to analyze savings.
  • The Information Technology Division is establishing video conferencing capabilities between the various City departments in order to minimize travel to and from meetings.
  • City vehicles will be serviced within three days of the service due date.
  • City employees will car pool when possible, especially when attending out of town events.
  • Take home vehicles have been reduced to only 11 vehicles citywide, with the exception of the Valdosta Police Department, and those must have a justifiable reason and must now be approved by a Deputy City Manager. The City has over 750 employees.
  • Department Heads must review monthly fuel usage for every vehicle and monitor and manage fuel consumption.
  • The Valdosta Police Department has a separate vehicle take-home policy approved by City ordinance years ago. The policy allows take-home privileges for the benefit the vehicles have by their presence in neighborhoods and in the community and to reflect their on-call status.

 

The plan came after a three year study. They say the soaring price of fuel, not city usage is the problem. 

"It's getting harder and more expensive to do business as normal.  Nevertheless, we are tightening up where we can to make up for the uncontrollable rise in expenses," says John Whitehead, Deputy City Manager of Operations.

They've been following this aggressive plan for 30 days and estimate they've already saved 1,339 gallons.

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