School buses fill up for savings

Sequim schools are looking to save dough with a new fuel tank for buses.

The transportation department, led by supervisor Jeff Gossage, purchased a 1,200-gallon diesel tank from Angeles Trucking to alleviate several expenses.

Gossage said dispatcher Bob Young was making several 2.5-mile round trips to fuel each bus, costing the district fuel and labor. About 2,750 miles were driven just for filling up each gas tank.

The 18 hours of manpower spent each week now can be used for maintenance and services.

From Sept. 1, 2008-Aug. 30, 2009, Sequim schools spent $79,162 on 33,038 gallons of fuel, said Brian Lewis, district business manager.

Superintendent Bill Bentley said Sequim was one of the few districts he knows of that didn't have a on-site fuel station for buses.

"Looking back, we found it important to have our own fueling," he said.

Bentley said the district now has the capacity to contract for fuel prices and become more fiscally efficient with labor and with negotiations for fuel prices.

The fuel tank had been planned since February 2009. It will be fueled by Pettit Oil.

Lewis said once the school year ends, he will have a better idea how much savings the district will have beyond labor costs.

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