Council considers funding for Avon fuel tank replacement

Charlottesville is considering a Climate Action Plan to guide efforts to become carbon neutral by 2050. In the meantime, much of the city’s fleet still operates on fossil fuels with a fueling station on Avon Street in Albemarle County.

“That fuel station has been in place for quite a while and the below-ground fuel tank is at the end of its usable life and is becoming uninsurable at this point,” said Michael Goddard is a Senior Project Manager in the city’s Public Works Department. 

Goddard said a recent crash involving a bus has damaged the fuel station and the city is currently using a fuel card system to purchase. He said the next storage tank will be above ground. 

“There are a lot of benefits of that sort of a tank, not the least of which is that it is easy to decommission should the time come that we don’t need a fueling station anymore,” Goddard said. 

Goddard said the project needs an additional $700,000 to meet the lowest bid. 

Charlottesville City Councilor Brian Pinkston suggested finding another solution altogether, including maybe partnering with Albemarle County.

“Is this like an essential thing that we have to have to function as a city, or is there another way to do it?” Pinkston asked. 

Interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers said the city has many vehicles that need to be fueled and it is more cost-effective to have an in-house fuel depot. 

“What we are doing now, though we are supporting the local economy, is costing us more money and over time as the price of gas keep going up its going to cost us more,”  Rogers said.

Council’s discussion was a first reading and the item will be on the consent agenda on November 7. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the October 20, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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