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Hall, Gainesville vehicles have steady fuel supply

POSTED: October 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.

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As the fuel shortage continues to make Hall County residents anxious, it’s "so far, so good with us," Hall County’s purchasing manager Tim Sims said of the fuel supply.

Sims said Hall County’s supplier, Pacific Pride, has delivered a steady supply of gas throughout the shortage and designated the county a priority.

"We get an allocation every other day," Sims said. "They assured us they will keep us in gasoline."

But while the county has access to gasoline, it is all in one location.

Sims said some county employees who work far from Gainesville use gas cards so they can fill up on the job.

"The fire departments and the sheriff’s deputies also have these Citgo cards they can use when they’re not close to town; however, those stations are out of gas right now, and they’re all having to come in and fuel at Pacific Pride," Sims said.

"The only inconvenience we’re experiencing is we can’t use our gas cards out at ... the ends of the county; they all have to come into town to refuel."

Sims said county fire stations also have their own diesel tanks, so there haven’t been any issues keeping fire trucks filled up.

"We don’t seem to see a shortage on the diesel," Sims said.

Sims said Hall County also has a supply of fuel in case it is unable to get normal fuel deliveries.

But Sims said the county always will get fuel first to ensure first response vehicles are able to run.

"With a letter from us we get priority because they’re servicing public safety vehicles," Sims said.

Gainesville City Manager Bryan Shuler said, like Hall County, Gainesville has not had to take any "particular emergency steps yet."

He said gas is being monitored closely and conservation efforts are in effect. But the city’s fuel supplier, Mansfield Oil Co., will continue to supply the city with enough fuel to conduct its necessary activities.

But Shuler said the city is trying to curb any unnecessary driving.

"We’ve instructed our departments to defer routine maintenance-type work that can be done later, that doesn’t have to be done now. ... Because of gasoline supply, we want to reserve our fuel primarily for essential day-to-day services we provide," Shuler said.

Dean Martin, Gainesville’s vehicle service manager, said though the city has been doing everything it can to conserve since gas prices rose this year, there is only so much that can be cut.

"The day-to-day operation, no matter how you cut it, it still takes ‘x’ amount of fuel," Martin said. "In this situation we’re even more conservative than we were."

Martin said though Mansfield Oil has made it a priority that the city still receives fuel, they are receiving it less frequently.

"The way we’re ordering fuel now has had to change a little bit. We have to count on it being late so we have to order earlier," Martin said.



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