Fueling tank fix totals $20,000

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By CONNOR CARYNSKI
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Village of Saukville has approved about $20,000 for funding to help correct issues with its fueling tank station.

A state inspector found during an annual inspection that the facility’s fuel island was in poor condition and in need of upgrades.

Public Works Department superintendent Dan Helm said the state has given the village until the end of the year to make repairs to the station or it will be shut down.

To bring the station into compliance with state standards, $19,744 will have to be spent to remove the existing fuel island, install a containment tank under the fuel dispenser, install a fuel sensor to detect leaks and purchase double-walled fiberglass tanks running from the tanks to dispenser pipes.

“If we want to stay in the fuel business, that’s what we have to do,” Helm said during a July 15 Finance Committee meeting.

Administrator Dawn Wagner said expenses associated with the repairs would have to come from the village’s unassigned fund balance rather than the Department of Public Work’s equipment replacement fund because the department needs to but other equipment with those funds this year.

The Finance Committee unanimously voted to recommend the Village Board use unassigned funds to complete the project, after which the board approved.

While the $19,744 in spending this year will bring the village in compliance with state requirements, additional improvements will need to be made to the facility in years to come.

 Now that the first phase of improvements have been approved for the facility, the Finance Committee will begin considerations on a second phase $123,720 project that would replace the village fuel tanks.

While the village’s diesel and unleaded steel fuel tanks are in good condition and there are no indications they have ever leaked, Helm said, they are past their 30-year warranty.

Without the tanks covered under warranty, the village’s pollution liability insurance rates will continue to increase, creating additional costs.

The $123,720 project would replace both of the tanks with double-walled, fiberglass tanks that would be covered under a new 30-year warranty.

Because lead time on new tanks is currently longer than one-and-a-half years, the project would not start until 2023 or later.

Wagner said the Finance Committee will likely discuss the second phase of the project during its Aug. 17 meeting.

 “In terms of the phase two, we have a lot of discussions to have there,” she said.

Trustee Peter Janus questioned if repairing the fuel tanks would be the best financial option and if municipal vehicles could be filled at a public station.

He said the village should weigh the pros and cons of the project before moving forward.

“Coming from a manufacturing background, if I wanted to spend $150,000 in equipment I’d have to outline what are the savings and what are the costs,” he said.

Helm provided some details of annual savings the fuel system provides the village.

He said the village purchases gasoline 58 cents cheaper than what is available at public stations. In 2019, the village saved $7,466 on the 21,960 gallons it used. In 2020, it saved  $6,700 on 19,000 gallons.

Helm added that it would cost the village $38,000 to remove the fuel facility if trustees decided not to make the repairs.

Convenience is another benefit Helm said maintaining the fuel station offers.

He said bringing municipal vehicles to public stations would take up additional time and that there may not be many stations where larger vehicles can fill up at in the area.

“There really isn’t a good option,” he said.

The municipal fuel station, located at the Public Works Department, is used by all municipal vehicles from squad cars to snow plows.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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