GILFORD – When the state Department of Transportation notified the town that its pumps on Lily Pond Road were closing for a few days for upgrades, Town Administrator Scott Dunn discovered that buying gas and diesel at the station across the road was much cheaper.
If gas prices stay at or near where they are in 2016, he anticipates the town will save $7,500 in automotive fuel costs alone.
"The state was charging $2.74, and we could drive to a gas station and get it for around $2.01," he said. Using a conservative savings estimate, he said the town uses approximately 30,000 gallons of fuel annually and if it can save 25 cents per gallon, that equals the projected $7,500.
DOT Fuel Allocation Manager Brian Pike said yesterday that District 3 – which covers the Lakes Region – has locked in a price for unleaded fuel for $2.74 through July 31, 2017. He said it was a 30-month contract that was in effect until it expires or until Area 3 uses $6,214,563 gallons or 85 percent of its usage in the years preceding the contract.
Pike said the Gilford DOT pump station was only closed for a week or so and has since reopened. The reason for the temporary closure was so the state could upgrade the tanks and pumps to meet Department of Environmental Services standards. He said work on the DOT station in Belmont began yesterday and the Loudon pump station is already above ground and doesn't need to be upgraded.
Pike said the upgrades were necessary because the town of Belmont said no to a new DOT pumping station at the intersection of Route 106 and Brown Road a few months ago.
Dunn said that in the time the town stopped buying gas from the state pumps, it has signed up for a WEX Universal Fleet gas-purchasing system that uses a credit card and that strips out the excise taxes during the purchase. Before the town got the card, Dunn said he would apply to the state and federal governments for rebates of the excise tax charged to regular consumers but not other government agencies.
So far this year, Dunn estimates the town has saved about $2,000.
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