WORK SESSION: Two Huntington Council Members Ask, Why Not TTA for City’s Fleet?

by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter
Houck & Thacker (File Photo)
Houck & Thacker (File Photo)

HUNTINGTON, WV (HNN) – The proposed location(s) where city vehicles should fill their tanks came under scrutiny at the Thursday afternoon City Council work session.

Previously, the Finance Committee recommended that the Speed Fleet contract administered by Speedway/Super America, which would save the city more than ten cents a gallon, allow the closure of the decaying city garage pumps, and eliminate a need for upgraded fleet software costing $20,000.

However, Russ Houck, also a member of the The Transit Authority board, suggested that Huntington would save more bucks by entering into a contract to fill up at the TTA pumps.

Finance Director Deron Runyon estimated a $50,000 savings over the four year life of the Speed Fleet contract.

Houck countered, “The city could save $50,000 a year with TTA” and “lock in a maximum fuel price.”

Unfortunately, TTA did NOT bid on the contract. According to Houck, Paul Davis, the authority’s executive director , did not believe they were permitted to do so.

That led councilman Scott Caserta to join Houck in recommending reexamination of the recommendation to determine whether TTA would offer more savings .

The prospect of a bid oversight meeting --- similar to the one that led to a better deal for the city on police radios --- did not set well with either Sandra Clements or Steve Williams.

Clements felt TTA had missed their opportunity.

Finance Chairman Williams believed other benefits, such as filling up in the work zone, real time on line monitoring of purchases, and the need for covert police officers to fill up their unmarked car in a public venue outweighed TTA’s possible advantages. As it stands, the larger equipment that requires diesel will use TTA pumps.

The Huntington Police Department has been the largest proponent of the new card system. Officers, in particular, could fill up in their zone without traveling to the city garage. However, one informed source questioned this savings, suggesting that police protocol calls for officers to fill up the cruiser prior to turning it over to the next shift.

Since this will be a second reading, the public will be permitted to comment at Monday’s council meeting on the proposed change which will free the city of environmental issues regarding their current gasoline pumps.

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