WILLIAMSON – At a regular meeting of the Williamson City Council Thursday, Jan. 28 Williamson Police Chief Barry Blair addressed the council to discuss switching to fuel cards for the city police and fire department.
Blair opened the discussion stating, “Mayor, the only thing I have to add today is we spoke, I think the last time we met about obtaining fuel cards for our vehicles instead of having storage tanks for diesel fuel and gasoline. I have contacted Automotive Resource International (ARI) and the State of West Virginia.”
Blair continued stating, “These would be fuel cards only. That would allow us not to store fuel. The city would not have to purchase fuel and have it set for maybe months. We could buy it as we go. I think I can get those fuel cards through the State of West Virginia and I don’t believe it would cost the city anything. I will get the specifics about it and I should know something tomorrow. I have been working with the clerk on this and we have been in touch with each other. Hopefully, I will have some information by the next council meeting. “
Williamson Mayor Robert Carlton responded stating, “Chief we want to compliment you on what a good job that you do. You have the support of the council to move forward.”
Councilwoman Judy Hamrick stated, “I hope you can move forward so that we are ready to accept the cards at the next meeting. “
Blair responded stating, “I will do my best. The Sheriff’s Department is currently using the West Virginia fuel card. I will get all the specifics on how it works. Those fuel cards would remain in the vehicle. They wouldn’t go with the person; they would stay in the vehicle. That one card is for that vehicle. That would also involve the fire department.
Blair continued explaining that the fuel cards would pertain to 10 to 20 vehicles. “I just need to get a definite count,” Blair stated.
Joey Carey, Chief of the Williamson Fire Department, mentioned that switching to fuel cards would also increase accountability. “I think too, that it is much more accountable. Each card has its own number on the program. Those pen numbers are assigned to that certain employee so you know how much fuel that one employee has used for the month, when, what day, what time, everything. It is very accountable.”
Blair agreed stating, “Currently we are just writing down on a sheet a paper our fuel use.”
Larry Brown, Williamson City Clerk, also spoke in favor of switching to fuel cards. “The auditors are also requiring this. They keep writing us up because we are not doing something like this.”
Councilwoman Sherri Hairston-Brown responded stating, “Well, I think we should.”
According to ARI’s website, “ARI’s fleet fuel management program is designed to provide the tools, resources, and expertise that can help fleets of all sizes get a better handle of expenses.” More information on ARI can be found at www.arifleet.com.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279.)