POMEROY — Local governments in Meigs and Athens Counties purchase nearly 300,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year, and purchasing that fuel cooperatively could save them thousands of dollars each. That’s just one way local governmental agencies can join together to purchase items in quantity and save money, according to a school administrator.
Rick Edwards, superintendent of the Athens-Meigs Educational Service Center, met with Meigs County Commissioners Thursday to discuss findings of a fuel study his office has conducted in the two counties the ESC serves. Earlier this year, the ESC and local officials began to meet in response to a state directive to work cooperatively to save costs. Fuel costs are the first area to be studied, with others to follow.
According to Edwards’ study, which includes on-road diesel, off-road diesel and gasoline consumed by the Meigs County highway department, three Meigs school districts and three Athens school districts, Pomeroy and Middleport, 280,000 gallons of fuel are used annually, and that quantity would likely help any interested governments in joining together to make a bulk purchase. The next step, he said, will be contacting the bulk fuel suppliers, including local G&M Fuel, Pomeroy, and Burlile, Gallipolis, as well as the six others used in Athens and Meigs counties, including suppliers in Athens, Logan, and Jackson.
If those suppliers feel they can provide a bulk discount, the next step would likely be a bidding process if enough township, municipal and county agencies, including school districts, feel it would be an effective means of cost savings.
A 2011 change in the law allows ESC’s to partner more closely with local school districts and local governments to share services and operate more effectively. Edwards said other savings will also be investigated, such as health insurance cost savings and supplies cost savings. The fuel issue, he said, was a starting point for the discussion on cooperative purchasing.
During their regular business meeting, commissioners:
- Approved $140,000 from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, representing Federal Emergency Management Agency funds, into various county engineer line items: aggregate, bituminous, road labor, equipment, fuel and oil, tires, bridge labor, administrative salaries and shop labor.
- Approved a $6,000 transfer as requested by Engineer Eugene Triplett.
- Approved a transfer of $8,000 into the autopsies line item.
- Approved payment of bills in the amount of $419,172.44.
- Reviewed a new liquor permit application from Warren Calaway, Orange Township, as submitted to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.
Attending were Commissioners Michael Bartrum, Tom Anderson and Tim Ihle, and Clerk Gloria Kloes.