Propane an option for county vehicles

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Upgrading the county’s fleet to propane fuel was a proposal presented by PerfectionGroup of Cincinnati at Lawrence County Commission’s Tuesday work session.

“This is a major trend in energy savings,” Anthony Apro, PerfectionGroup president, told commissioner Bill Pratt, the only commissioner at the work session.

The conversion would allow vehicles to be fueled either by propone or gasoline depending on driver preference or circumstance.

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“I’ve seen fleet conversion pay for other things,” Apro said.

The company’s proposal includes upgrading 49 vehicles in the current fleet, models from 2007 or newer, to the propane system and install two fuel stations for propane fueling.

“Our fleet of sheriffs and EMS, we’d like for you to look at that initially and see what that payback would be,” Pratt said.

The second part of the proposal would be to upgrade the courthouse structure. The project would repair the roof and doom; resolve pigeon situation and clean the area where they reside, move them to another location and install spikes in their nesting area; clean the exterior, tuck, pointing and sealing to restore exterior to original; and install a variable refrigerant flow system to provide better temperature control.

Pratt also heard from Jeremy Eastwood, the county’s insurance consultant, who reported that he did not expect a large premium increase from CEBCO insurance.

Four years ago the county switched to CEBCO sponsored by the County Commission Association of Ohio, a consortium with 12,000 customers.

CEBCO determines premium renewal rates by analyzing claims from June 2015 to June 2015.

“We got a very favorable review this year,” Eastwood said. “I’m really satisfied with what we had. We will be in the lowest tier.”

There were only three claims in the past year over $20,000.

Among areas of improvement is to reduce the number of visits to the emergency room. They went from 59.5 last year to 73.4.

“That’s 25 percent more utilization,” Eastwood said.

Also there was a five percent decrease in using mail order for prescriptions.

“People on maintenance drugs need to get that through mail order,” he said. “They would be saving by going through mail order.”

Last year’s premium increase was 3 percent. Eastwood said that increase could be duplicated this year but at least should be under 10 percent. Premium figures are expected available in about a month.

“One of the best decisions we ever made,” Pratt said.