The Norman Transcript

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January 10, 2013

Fueling station is good for environment and Norman coffers

NORMAN — Public sales at Norman’s city-owned CNG facility have exceeded expectations by more than double during its first year of operation.

“Since opening, we have dispensed 72,000 gallons of fuel,” Norman Public Works Director Shawn O’Leary said. “The city used 30,000, and the general public consumed 42,000.”

Those public sales generated $110,000 in revenue.

“That’s new revenue. That’s what’s key to us. This was an amazing opportunity,” O’Leary said. “We opened in January 2012. We literally doubled our projection of sales.”

Located at 2351 Goddard Ave. on the Flood Street/State Highway 77 corridor, the facility is convenient for many motorists, but the price is worth driving out of the way to fuel up.

“Our price today is $1.36 per gallon and has probably been that way for a couple of months,” O’Leary said. “When there’s a shifting of prices, we try to shift with them. We tend to be on the lower-to-middle end of the range. Our cost isn’t as high as some of the vendors. Rarely are we on the bottom end, and rarely are we on the top end.”

Policy dictated by the Norman City Council allows the city manager to set the fuel prices based on the regional market.

Currently, prices are ranging from $1.19 to $2 per gallon. Checking CNG prices isn’t difficult these days. There’s even an app for iPhone that gives prices and locations of stations, O’Leary said.

“This is an open, public facility open 24-7,” O’Leary said. “People have been very happy with it. I think our price is as competitive as any in the immediate vicinity of Norman.”

Prior to the opening, city staff looked at area sales and projected what the city could expect to generate in public sales.

“You can argue that our projection was low,” O’Leary said. “At the end of the year, we had sold twice as much fuel to the general public as we projected, so that’s good news. It’s not even putting a dent in our capacity. We have great capacity.”

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