Contract awarded for Hobart CNG filling station

June 13, 2017. Construction of a compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station could get started in about a month.

   The Board of Public Works and Safety awarded a contract to Ozinga Energy for the project. The new facility will cost about $708,000, and federal funding will cover 80 percent of it.

   City Engineer Phil Gralik said work could begin in about 30 days, and the facility could be finished in approximately 90 days.

   The city has long put an emphasis on operating in an environmentally friendly manner. It currently has three CNG vehicles and is pursuing efforts to retrofit two of its diesel dump trucks with CNG engines.

   Hobart chose a slow-fill option for the new station, which can fuel 12 vehicles at once. Gralik said it could take five to eight hours to fill the city's larger trucks, and that will occur during overnight hours to avoid affecting the Public Works Department. He said the slow-fill method gets more fuel in tanks than a fast-fill CNG station would.

   Without its own filling station, the Public Works Department has been required to drive its CNG fleet outside of the city for fuel.

   The filling station will be created near the new garage, which is needed because the department has outgrown the current building that's about 50 years old. The existing garage can't accommodate Hobart's CNG fleet when maintenance is needed, but the new garage will be completely CNG-compliant.