City Hall departments told to cut gas use by 10-15 percent

With high gas prices, many of us are trying to cut back. In City Hall, it has nearly become a mandate. Public Works Director Chris Carrier last week sent out a memo to all city department heads asking them come up with plans to cut their fuel usage by 10 to 15 percent. He said he didn’t specify how they should do that because each department is different. For example, he said, the need to leave a vehicle idling is different for police than for public works.

The catch: the city can’t track gas usage very well. They know how much they buy. Employees file mileage reports. But they can’t see day-to-day, week-to-week usage by each department and employee. So Carrier is asking the city council this week to fund a $1.4 million fuel system that would track gas usage, perform diagnostic tests at the city pumps and help prevent fuel thieves by coding pumps so that they’ll only give gas to authorized vehicles. Council members have grumbled about the cost but appear poised to approve the system Tuesday.