Natural gas fueling station to be shared by DOT, county
By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Legislator Alan Sorensen’s longtime wish to site a compressed natural gas (CNG) facility in Sullivan County seems to have been granted.
He and Legislator Ron Hiatt announced this week that the state Department of Transportation (DOT) and the county have tentatively agreed to build the fuel station on land the county owns next door to the DOT’s Town of Thompson complex.
Intended to serve new DOT vehicles (which are state-mandated to run on CNG by 2010), the station will also be available to the county and perhaps even the general public.
CNG has been averaging about 5-10 cents more per gallon this year than gasoline, but it handily beats gas and diesel in low emissions and fuel efficiency, according to federal government studies.
“We have a unique opportunity to partner with the NYSDOT to create a CNG refueling station right here in Monticello,” Sorensen remarked in a press release issued this week. “This will enable the county to add low-emission and high-fuel efficiency CNG vehicles to its vehicle fleet while providing local residents and businesses with a centralized location to refuel their CNG cars. This public-public partnership could be a win-win for everyone.”
“This filling station provides another opportunity to give substance to the county’s Green Visioning Statement,” added Hiatt. “It would benefit our private citizens, as well as all municipalities.”
As Sullivan County represents the last of the counties in this region of the state to get a CNG fueling facility, the DOT is eager to see it constructed, as well.
“As the legislators indicate, this venture is truly a win-win proposition at several levels,” DOT spokesman Dave Hamburg said this week. “... With so many vehicles on the road, DOT has taken its stewardship of the environment very seriously. We strive to be environmentally responsible in the work we do. The NYSDOT use of CNG also reduces our carbon footprint and dependence on gasoline.
“As this joint venture moves forward,” Hamburg added, “DOT hopes that Sullivan County may also see private benefits in addition to the public benefits and the outstanding benefits to the environment.”
Further discussions on the development of the station, including costs and responsibilities, are expected during this month’s meetings of the County Legislature.