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Trumbull County buys four CNG trucks

020817...R CNG TRUCKS 1...Warren...02-08-17... Jack Simon. Coordinator of Special Projects for Trumbull County Engineers Dept., explains the fueling system on the new CNG trucKS Wednesday morning...by R. Michael Semple

WARREN — Natural gas-powered trucks are the future in Trumbull County.

The Engineer’s Office showcased its four newest vehicles Wednesday and announced that as the office replaces its diesel trucks, they will be replaced with natural gas-powered ones.

The new 2017 Freightliner compressed natural gas-fueled tandem axle trucks with complete snow and ice packages were purchased at a total cost of $943,765, but because the county received grants from the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program, the county paid $193,167, or 20 percent of the cost.

“These trucks will be used in the same way our other vehicles are being used, for snow removal and the hauling of equipment,” said Jack Simon, coordinator of special projects for the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office.

“With the money we received from the grants, it was like getting three additional vehicles for the cost of one,” Simon said. “The CNG vehicles cost more than their diesel counterparts, but not significantly.”

As a requirement of the grant, the county had to put the diesel vehicles being replaced out of service in such a way they cannot be used again. The county has 30 diesel-powered vehicles.

Compressed natural gas is one of the cleanest-burning transportation fuels available at this time and has a direct impact on extending the useful life of vehicles, according to county officials.

“While we will continue to work to get additional grants, we plan, over time, to replace all of our vehicles with CNG vehicles,” Simon said. “We are one of the first of the smaller counties to get these vehicles. The larger cities and counties already are replacing their vehicles with these natural gas vehicles.”

Simon said the price of natural gas should not be as volatile as diesel because it will not be affected by conflicts that may happen overseas or if refineries are shut down.

“This is the wave of the future,” he said.

rsmith@tribtoday.com

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