City of Jemison doing its part to cut back on gasoline consumption

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The City of Jemison was paying an average of $1.66 per gallon for fuel in 2004.

That’s a far cry from last month’s $3.27 per gallon (without taxes), but thanks to a few smart fuel conservation practices, the city has saved itself some money.

From October 2007 through June 2008, the city used 7,673.03 fewer gallons of gas than in the same time period for 2003-04, Police Chief Brian Stilwell reported to the city council Monday night.

That statistic represents a drop from 27,359.99 gallons of fuel consumed four years ago compared to 19,686.96 this fiscal year, despite the fact that the city has eight more vehicles than in 2004, Stilwell said.

“The City of Jemison has a larger fleet of vehicles, maintenance trucks and tractors today than in 2004,” Mayor Eddie Reed said. “The fire, rescue and police are responding to a much greater number of calls than in years prior, but due to the hard work of our department heads and this city council we can do this more efficiently.”

The city began a fleet management program in 2005 that was implemented by all department heads. The council has asked all department heads to watch fuel consumption closely and do what they can to reduce cost.

“We have changed some of our routine to reduce cost as best we can, but we work out of cars and have to answer calls for service,” Stilwell said.

Last year the police department switched to smaller patrol cars that stretch the city’s money a few more miles.

“A big savings for us was buying the smaller police cars,” Stilwell said. “They are costing us about $150 a month less in gas than those bigger cars.”

Storing less ammunition in cars also helps cut down on fuel consumption. Stilwell emphasized taking only necessary equipment on calls, a move that can be implemented by all city departments.

“We have no control over gas prices, but I am proud to see the hard work of this council and our department heads reduce the amount of fuel used in order to save our citizens money,” Reed said.