Government SPLOST 7 | | | Editor

Plan for natural gas goes forward

Committee OKs fuel's use in city garbage trucks

  • Follow Government

A city proposal for using compressed natural gas to fuel garbage trucks was taken off the back burner Monday when an Augusta Commission committee approved it unanimously.

Members of the engineering services committee voted to require garbage haulers to use compressed gas in their trucks and authorized Solid Waste Director Mark Johnson to seek proposals to design, build, operate and maintain a compressed natural gas fueling station.

The full commission will vote on the plan at the next regular meeting.

The gas benefits the environment, is cleaner, cheaper and it works, Johnson told the committee.

In 2009, the state Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources recommended that Augusta be designated a non-attainment area for ozone. If that happened, vehicles would have to be inspected annually to determine whether they were emitting too many exhaust fumes. There also would be a ban on outdoor burning. The designation would hamper economic development because industries would be subject to more stringent permits.

Augusta is barely in compliance with the ground-level ozone standard of 75 parts per billion, Johnson said. Compressed natural gas reduces greenhouse gas compared to both diesel fuel and gasoline.

Mayor Deke Copenhaver said converting to compressed natural gas is something the city has to do for attainment and economic development.

"It's crucial we do it," he said. "From an air-quality standpoint, it's something we have to do."

Commissioner Jerry Brigham questioned why the board was resistant.

"We wouldn't be (resisting) if we were in non-attainment," he said.

The city would be tied into an Atlanta Gas pipeline. Initially, no methane gas from the Deans Bridge Road landfill would be used, Johnson said.

The fueling station would be designed to allow for satellite locations using tube trailers. Haulers using the gas would pay back the capital cost of the program, Johnson said. Gas sales to garbage haulers would pay for the station.

Commissioner Corey Johnson said he thought it was a good program but asked what it would mean to current haulers who might not be able to afford new trucks. Mark Johnson said the federal energy bill that goes into effect Jan. 1 allows for up to 80 percent of incremental cost of dedicated natural gas vehicles based on Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. For example, if a vehicle weighed 26,000 pounds and cost $40,000, 80 percent of that would amount to a $32,000 tax credit.

Commissioners also voted to allow Mark Johnson to negotiate with current haulers to extend their contracts through next year so there will be time to design bid packages with options.

The impact on garbage rates next year will not be known until negotiating is done, but any increase would be tied to the Consumer Price Index, he said.

In other action

Augusta Commission on Monday:

- Rolled back this year's tax rate 0.093 mill because of a slight increase in the tax digest. The owner of a $100,000 house in the county, claiming the standard $5,000 homestead exemption, will pay $4.20 less. Urban area residents will pay $6.12 less, and those in the Blythe fire district $11.31 less.

- Approved property transactions to make way for the new trade, exhibit and event center, including paying $205,000 for property owned by TV station WAGT on Reynolds Street; swapping property at 13th and Reynolds for property at Ninth and Reynolds and paying $119,500; and settling terms of a lease for Reggie's Hot Dogs on Reynolds for $32,000.

- Voted to issue a contract for design of the sheriff's office building to Clark Patterson Lee for $599,714.50. The building will be at Walton Way and Fourth Street behind the Red Lobster.

- Authorized R.J. Griffin to award a $4.3 million bid package which includes demolition, site clearing and grading underground utilities, foundations and precast concrete for the new Reynolds Street parking deck.

- Approved the renewal of the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau professional services agreement with the city.

- Approved the third amendment to the lease between the city and Augusta Professional Baseball LLC, reimbursing the Green Jackets $100,000 for repairs to the baseball stadium.

- Approved a lease renewal between the city and the CSRA Humane Society for use of the old city stockade for $1.

Comments (21) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Chillen
22
Points
Chillen 08/09/10 - 01:48 pm
0
0
At least this one doesn't

At least this one doesn't appear politically motivated (ron cough-cough cross.

Don't spend it all in one place!

baronvonreich
1
Points
baronvonreich 08/09/10 - 01:49 pm
0
0
I hope everybody thanks

I hope everybody thanks countyman for their tax cut. I'm sure his cheerleading has helped grow the RC taxbase so much as to allow you these $4 and $6 rebates.

Chillen
22
Points
Chillen 08/09/10 - 01:53 pm
0
0
Baron, here's a completely

Baron, here's a completely unrelated article to this one that reminded me of some of your topics.

http://townhall.com/columnists/JimPowell/2010/08/08/what_would_it_take_t...

countyman
28028
Points
countyman 08/09/10 - 01:54 pm
0
0
This is the 3rd time RC has

This is the 3rd time RC has rolled back taxes since 7/20/10....

baronvonreich
1
Points
baronvonreich 08/09/10 - 02:14 pm
0
0
Yes Chillen I read that. Jim

Yes Chillen I read that. Jim Powell is right on the money and I couldn't have said it better myself though I have said much of the same things several times on here. The inevitable is coming and the longer it is stalled until it is dealt with will only make the pain more acute, but then again Americans have turned into a greedy society and procrastion is rampant due to self-servitude.

America can invoke elementary aspects of social Darwinsim at a trickle's pace or China will eventually mandate it upon us like a flood.

Little Lamb
63370
Points
Little Lamb 08/09/10 - 02:21 pm
0
0
Chillen wrote: At least this

Chillen wrote:

At least this one doesn't appear politically motivated (à la Ron (cough-cough) Cross). Don't spend it all in one place!

What do you mean not politically motivated? Both Deke Copenhaver and Corey Johnson have strong challengers in November. Otherwise there would have been no rollback, small as it is.

Chillen
22
Points
Chillen 08/09/10 - 02:31 pm
0
0
Well Little Lamb, that makes

Well Little Lamb, that makes me sad. And I thought they were just looking out for the homeowners. Must politics always get in the way?! Never mind, I know the answer to that.....

Chillen
22
Points
Chillen 08/09/10 - 02:34 pm
0
0
Baron. The article is

Baron. The article is frightening. What we have simply is not working.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 08/09/10 - 03:09 pm
0
0
Why a difference in rates

Why a difference in rates between urban and the rest of the county? I know it isn't much, but why? And here I thought we were a consolidated city / county. I guess we are still bailing out the "stakeholders" who own property in the city.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 08/09/10 - 03:11 pm
0
0
Sorry folks on second thought

Sorry folks on second thought I figured out why the rate difference. It is because urban commissioners are actually smarter than their counterparts. Sorry for the question.

seenitB4
170930
Points
seenitB4 08/09/10 - 03:56 pm
0
0
dichotomy...why don't you

dichotomy...why don't you tell him how you really feel... ;o)

humbleopinion
3
Points
humbleopinion 08/09/10 - 11:44 pm
0
0
Dichotomy, well said. They

Dichotomy, well said. They have raised the garbage collection fees and now say they are going to reduce services. The ONLY thing that government has ever done right is to run the military....and that is because it is mostly managed by the military and NOT politicians. The post office totally sucks. Social "Security" is broke with no end in sight to their losses. Medicare / Medicaid is a joke. November is the time to bring "change" to America for the better! ELECT CONSERVATIVES who will bring back fiscal responsibility to government!!!!!!

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 08/10/10 - 07:52 am
0
0
Okay, how about we get back

Okay, how about we get back on topic, based upon this article. The next two steps I want to see are, since you've mandated CNG for garbage haulers, make it also mandatory for the buses -- Atlanta has done it; and make CNG available to the public. Then I can buy a Civic CNG. Sounds like the Pickens Plan is getting off the ground, here in Augusta !!

Little Lamb
63370
Points
Little Lamb 08/10/10 - 08:11 am
0
0
This statement by Solid Waste

This statement by Solid Waste Director Mark Johnson is patently false:

Haulers using the gas would pay back the capital cost of the program.

Garbage haulers pay nothing. They are middlemen who pass along their costs of doing business to the end consumer; and that is you and I.

Little Lamb
63370
Points
Little Lamb 08/10/10 - 08:14 am
0
0
If natural gas were a viable

If natural gas were a viable fuel for large trucks, Atlanta Gas Light would have already set up fueling stations in Augusta and elsewhere. That they haven't shows that the fuel is more costly than diesel on a $ per mile basis. The only way natural gas works is when government uses its coercive power to force its use. Hence, Mark Johnson's insistence that garbage haulers doing business with the city must purchase the gas. That higher cost gets passed along to those of us who pay for garbage pickup in our Augusta tax bill.

ripjones
2
Points
ripjones 08/10/10 - 10:00 am
0
0
Sorry, Atlanta Gas Light

Sorry, Atlanta Gas Light won't be the one -- they do not sell gas, only infrastructure. This will have to be a commercial venture. MARTA in Atlanta has decided that CNG is a viable fuel for their buses, and it helps their ozone problem. My first thought was that it would have to be a Truck Stop company, who would already have the infrastructure in place. There is one commercial CNG dealer in Atlanta. Will have to do some further checking on the actual comparison to diesel.

joebowles
108
Points
joebowles 08/10/10 - 02:31 pm
0
0
As we replace buses, they

As we replace buses, they will (better) be CNG!!!

Little Lamb
63370
Points
Little Lamb 08/10/10 - 02:54 pm
0
0
From the article above: The

From the article above:

The city would be tied into an Atlanta Gas pipeline. Initially, no methane gas from the Deans Bridge Road landfill would be used, Johnson said.

May I ask, “Why not?”

denzel
0
Points
denzel 08/15/10 - 04:28 pm
0
0
Can Someone please explain to

Can Someone please explain to me what is this article about i have read this over and over again an i cant quite understand whats its talking ,because i need to know what it is about because i have to do a current event on this can someone please help me out........

Back to Top
 
Search Augusta jobs
Top headlines
Augusta recreation master plan heads to full commission
An Augusta committee sent a $75 million recreation master plan to the full commission Tuesday without a recommendation after several commissioners had questions about the plan.