A long-term collaboration between the Dawson County Board of Commissioners and the Dawson County School Board came to fruition as a joint fuel station opened on Burt Creek Road last Thursday.
Chairman of the school board Cecil Bennett called the opening of the fuel station a celebration for Dawson County and a way for both entities to save taxpayer dollars.
County officials anticipate an annual savings of more than $50,000 in fuel costs.
While the joint venture has been in the works for several years, the need to move forward erupted last fall when fuel prices reached record highs and public service personnel, including fire, police and emergency workers, struggled to fill up their county cars during the gas shortage.
“We must be able to keep these emergency vehicles on the roads, protecting our citizens,” said outgoing Dawson County School Superintendent Nicky Gilleland.
The school system currently has a smaller fueling station at Riverview Middle School that it was able to continue to utilize during the shortage.
The joint fueling station will eliminate two problems, according to Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner.
“First, we’ll have the reserves we need, and second we would see tremendous cost savings by buying wholesale, because we’ll be able to buy in larger quantities,” Tanner said.
Gilleland said the intergovernmental agreement between the school system and the county is a win-win for all involved.
“Since we have the bus depot out there on the property now, we had to have a fueling station out there. This saved us half of what we’d anticipated spending to fuel the buses,” he said.
“This is another opportunity for us to work together to better serve the community, improve relations and work together, while saving money for our citizens,” Gilleland said.
The commission has also approved a fueling station at the new Fire Station 3, which is set to open later this year on property next to Tractor Supply on Hwy. 53.