Transit Committee Recommends New Natural Gas Contract to Council | News, Sports, Jobs
The city’s transit oversight committee has recommended that city council approve, at the request of River Valley Transit, and enter into a new natural gas supply contract with Constellation Energy, which is locked in at a price fixed at $3.59 per BTU, which is fixed for the next four years.
“Have we checked with other energy providers? Board chairman Adam Yoder asked Adam Winder, general manager of River Valley Transit.
The price is set for the next four years and is considered reasonable as the price of natural gas is expected to rise, Winder said.
That was the only action item for the committee.
Ideas on how to share services and reduce costs and duplication were discussed.
For example, Winder suggested that the city’s light and heavy vehicle condition and emissions inspection licenses be given to the Department of Public Works.
He also noted that another cost related to this is for the city to purchase an emission machine to perform state inspections. The estimated cost of such a machine is almost $8,000. City governments don’t pay for inspection stickers, and the average cost per vehicle of $80 would save the city money with at least three mechanics able to do the inspections, Winder said.
Councilor Bonnie Katz said a maintenance line item in the budget should be included to cover the cost of the machine. Winder suggested that each department that needs to have vehicles inspected pay its share, splitting the cost by vehicle in codes, police, fire and community development.
Winder added that employees trained in-house on heating, ventilation and air conditioning could reduce the overall cost of these repairs and maintenance items.
For winter snow, the Streets and Parks Department (Public Works) houses road salt and RVT will purchase about 10-15 tons per year, so it makes sense to keep the salt stored in the city shed, said Winder.
The committee is ensuring that a transition occurs as the authority will be voted on by the board and is expected to be fully operational by July 1.