Port Washington Police stands by its propane-powered fleet despite crisis
PORT WASHINGTON -- What a difference a winter makes.
Three months after rolling out its new fleet of propane-powered vehicles, Port Washington police officers find themselves answering questions about the very choice they made to save money.
Captain Mike Keller researched the proposal for more than a year and earned the back of city aldermen - along with an investment of $26,000.
"There's the environmental aspect and then there's the economical aspect," Keller told TODAY'S TMJ4 back in November 2013. "The propane is certainly far more economical than gasoline especially with the fluctuation of prices and so forth."
Indeed, last fall a gallon of propane actually cost half what gasoline runs for these days - $1.47. Keller estimated a savings of close to $16,000 a year for Port Washington - if those prices held up.
This winter, however, a freezing country has meant hot sales of propane, pushing prices to close to $4.00 a gallon.
Still, Keller stands by the transition - and the investment.
"We will get through this cold snap and prices will regulate again and we should be back where we were before," Keller tells TODAY'S TMJ4. "And actually, we're still running on our original purchase. We haven't had to buy propane in a while."
Police will convert two cars ever year into propane-powered vehicles; the Port Washington fleet consists of nine cruisers.