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The City of Loveland will begin constructing a new fuel island at the City Service Center at 200 N. Wilson Ave. on June 1. The City’s current fuel tanks, which are more than 30 years old, will be replaced, and a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) component will be added as a new, alternative fuel source for City vehicles.
The City’s fuel island is where all City-owned vehicles and busses fuel up for work across Loveland. The unleaded tanks will run out of fuel this week and the diesel tanks at the end of May meaning that residents will begin seeing City vehicles fuel up at local gas stations.
Current fuel tanks have surpassed their useful life expectancy, and while diligent maintenance and monitoring have allowed usage beyond their average life expectancy, replacement is needed. The new fuel island will provide new tank warranties and enhanced leak detection and safety.
In addition, a new CNG component will accommodate the heavy-duty CNG vehicles the City will be receiving, purchased through additional grant funding. As a fuel source, CNG offers significant advantages over diesel and gasoline. CNG fuel costs per gallon is about 50% less than diesel fuel (CNG @ $1.25 vs diesel @ $2.50). CNG also has numerous air quality and water quality benefits over diesel fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. CNG will increase emergency resiliency during petroleum shortages due to natural disasters/weather emergencies. If diesel pumps go down or supplies run low, CNG provides a backup plan for certain City crews and outside agencies who assist with Loveland response/recovery.
As part of the shift to using more alternative fuel sources, the City will incrementally replace 44 heavy-duty diesel trucks with trucks that use CNG over the next 10 years through amortization. The fuel savings is approximately $1.6 million with a projected payback of 6.25 years (projected fuel savings less out-of-pocket capital expense).
The total project budget for the fuel island replacement, including the additional CNG infrastructure is approximately $2.5 million. The gas and diesel portion of the project is $1,262,500 and will be funded by the General Fund. The CNG infrastructure is funded by an $828,000 CDOT reimbursement grant, with matching funds coming from the Fleet fund and Solid Waste funds in the amount of $372,000.