The city of Albion is no longer standing idle on city vehicles blowing unnecessary dollars out of their exhaust pipes.
On Monday, city council unanimously passed a no-idling policy for its fleet in an effort to preserve the environment and possibly put some money back into the city’s budget.
The policy states that drivers of vehicles owned, rented or leased by the city shall turn off vehicle engines when it is anticipated they will be stopped for more than 60 seconds, except when in traffic.
Exceptions to the rule include extreme weather conditions, when lift equipment is being used or other equipment is necessary to accommodate individuals with disabilities and when emergency situations arise.
“The (Energy and Sustainability) Committee feels it’s the first step in trying to improve the city of Albion’s air quality as well as to help save gallons of gas,” said Councilman Andrew French. “Now cost savings — it’s up in the air with gasoline and diesel fuel prices increasing continuously — we may not see a savings of dollars, but from an environmental point of view, gallons are just as great.”
In 2010, the city used more than 43,600 gallons of gas in its vehicles, totaling more than $101,000. That is nearly double the cost from 2000 when the city used more than 52,000 gallons of fuel at the cost of roughly $55,000.
French said council will assess the number of gallons of fuel the city uses during the next six months to determine tangible energy reductions.
Chief of Public Safety Eric Miller and Director of Public Services Kevin Markovich helped draft the policy, but enforcement of it will be a personal responsibility of city employees.
“It’s pretty much self policing, you’ve got to be the person to realize you’re just sitting there idling,” Mayor Joe Domingo said. “It’s not like somebody’s going to be there writing you a ticket for idling your vehicle.”
As published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot on June 21, 2011