FARMINGTON – County commissioners voted Tuesday to support the town of Farmington sharing the gas pump at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department to fuel up its smaller vehicles.

Those include police cruisers, a fire-rescue squad truck and town-owned cars and pickup trucks.

The larger vehicles, such as dump trucks and fire trucks, run on diesel and are filled up at the SAD 9 bus garage filling station in another inter-local fuel agreement.

Farmington Town Manager Richard Davis said that the town has a 4,000-gallon gasoline tank and pump at the former site of the Highway Department Garage at the corner of High Street and Farmington Falls Road.

Davis said he does not have the authorization of the Board of Selectmen at this time, and is only exploring options. He will bring his findings back to the board, he said.

Regardless of whether a new police station is built at that site, Davis said, they need to do something. They could either move the tank to the newer site of the highway garage off Cascade Leisure Park Road, abandon the tank and go to a gas-card system at a service station, or enter into a gas-sharing agreement to buy gas from Franklin County.

The key system Farmington currently uses at its pump has 20 slots and the town doesn’t use half of them, Davis told commissioners. Each department has a different key to use at the pump, and the gas usage is recorded and deducted from the individual department’s fuel account.

Sheriff Dennis Pike said the county would need three key slots for vehicles from the Sheriff’s Department, jail transports and Emergency Management Agency.

In any event, Davis said, there is plenty of capacity for key slots but somebody would have to administer the gas sharing by taking readings at the start of each month.

The county’s tank is also 4,000 gallons, Davis said, and the town’s smaller vehicles use a total of about 21,000 gallons a year.

The county is paying cent more for gas than the price Farmington locked in, Davis said, and he may be able to have the price agreement carried over to the county.

To move the key system, Davis said, it would cost Farmington $925.

“We’re just trying to find the least expensive way,” he said, because one way or another something needs to be done.

Both Pike and Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ray Meldrum raised concerns about the sheriff’s budget having to cover the full cost of fuel delivery and where the money went after the gas cost was reimbursed.

County Treasurer Karen Robinson said each department would pay its share of the cost, and the sheriff’s budget would remain intact except for the money it spends on fuel for its vehicles.

Currently the EMA truck is fueled at the county station and that cost is deducted from that account, she said.


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