The Unified Government of Wyandotte County made an environmental change to its fleet of vehicles and it's poised to save taxpayers $100,000 every year.
When changes made impact the taxpayer in a positive way and move communities forward, it's change that Emerick Cross likes to see.
"We're converting these buses to propane use for a couple of reasons," he said.
Cross is in charge of the fleet for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County. He said the pros of converting to propane far outweigh the cons.
"No. 1, we're going to save over $113,000 for the Unified Government," he said.
While that amount is a lot of jewelry, Cross said the list of pros goes on.
"But the citizens (will benefit) as well. Hopefully we can reduce taxes by doing this," he said. "We converted to propane obviously for two reasons. No. 1 to save a lot of money and No. 2 to protect the environment."
Using propane reduces the carbon footprint. According to research the Unified Government conducted, the alternative fuel released 25 percent less nitrogen oxide, 35 percent less carbon monoxide and up to 20 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, which doesn't include the 50 percent fewer particulate emissions.
"With the use of propane, we will probably displace in one year about 50,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel," Cross said.
The cost to convert isn't cheap. Each shuttle bus costs $8,800 to convert, a price picked up by a grant awarded to the unified government. Ferrellgas out of Liberty, MO, provided the propane tank and gas dispenser free of charge.
"They gave us a propane tank and a propane dispenser at no cost to us. The unified government had no capital investment at this time to convert these 13 shuttle buses to propane," Cross said.
Based on the research they've already done regarding their fleet, city officials as well as commanders at the fleet center hope to make more changes. They hope to change many of the county vehicles as well as city vehicles over to propane as time allows.
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