City of Lawton saves maintenance and fuel costs thanks to CNG

June 9, 2017. The City of Lawton Public Works Department, Oklahoma, has found a way to curb the time city vehicles were spending in the repair shop while combating rising diesel prices.

   “We were paying about $3.15 to $3.42 for a gallon of diesel,” recalled City of Lawton Equipment Maintenance Superintendent Dennis Bothell. “We put our heads together and started gathering information for a plan. We started talking to folks about compressed natural gas.” Providing CNG infrastructure for the City of Lawton has been a longtime pursuit of the Public Works Department.

   “There was a five-year period where we talked to vendors and just did a lot of research,” Bothell said. “It was great to finally see it all come together.”

   In October 2016, the ground was broken for the first and only CNG fueling station in Lawton on SW Sixth Street. The complex is maintained by GoSPARQ, LLC – they entered into a 10-year lease agreement with the City of Lawton. The entire complex was built in 90 days and officially opened for use in January 2017.

   The visionary leadership made Lawton a viable force in energy-saving efforts and the fight for cleaner air. It also reduced equipment maintenance costs as issues with exhaust systems and diesel particulate filters has been greatly reduced or completely eliminated with the switch to CNG.

   Currently, six city-owned vehicles currently operate on CNG and another six are set to be purchased in July. An entire fleet of City of Lawton CNG sanitation trucks should be complete by 2022.