LISBON - Efforts by the village to get a handle on vehicle gasoline consumption within the water and sewer departments have begun to pay off, with the average monthly bill dropping by more than half.
The April fuel bill for both departments was a combined $293 compared to a monthly average of $657 for all of last year and $628 during the first two months of 2013.
Alarmed because of the increase, village Board of Public Affairs members decided in late March to require employees to begin maintaining a vehicle log for mileage and gasoline purchases, with the new practice taking effect in April.
The new policy appears to have paid off, at least so far, as evident by the significant drop in gasoline costs.
"The mileage has dropped considerably," noted BPA member Bill Hoover. "They're apparently paying attention to where they're going."
BPA Chairman Carol Petrachkoff attributed some of the drop to the fact one less vehicle was available for use, but she believes the workers are doing a better job deciding when to use a vehicle and for what.
"They're being more accountable, and we appreciate that," she said.
According to figures provided in March by the BPA, water and sewer gasoline usage increased by 29 percent last year, going from a combined $5,634 in 2011 to $7,880 in 2012. Meanwhile, gasoline usage declined in the police and street departments over the same period.
All departments purchase their fuel at the Circle K, so the rate is the same for everyone.