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District wants to seek fixed rate on diesel fuel
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Forsyth County News
The Forsyth County school board decided Thursday it will pursue a deal to buy diesel fuel for the 2009-10 school year at a fixed rate.

The decision comes after a year that saw the price of fuel fluctuate wildly, from about $1.69 to $3.65.

The school system’s transportation and purchasing department will seek to enter into a fixed price contract, based on the best price and quality. A vendor has not been determined.

The contract would be for a 12-month term beginning July 1 and for 42,000 gallons per month, the minimum amount of fuel the district would use.

The district likely will see fixed rates for 10 of the 12 months, but may pay variable market rates in December and June.

In addition to being able to budget transportation expenditures more accurately, a fixed rate contract could put the school system at the front of deliveries in the event of fuel shortages.

Board member Mike Dudgeon mentioned the county’s consideration of a fuel co-op.

“I would like to know the difference of what we are doing and what those folks are doing,” he said.

Garry Puetz, director of transportation, said among the differences are the fixed rate and the type and quality of fuel.

Instead of standard diesel, the school system has used a B10 blend, which is 90 percent ultra-low sulfer and 10 percent biodiesel.

Puetz noted the department has been “very happy with the performance with the biodiesel ... we continue to use biodiesel at an additional cost.”

The cost for the B10 blend is an additional 3 to 3.8 percent per gallon, said Puetz, adding that the fuel does offer a 7.5 percent reduction in emissions.

E-mail Jennifer Sami at jennifersami@forsythnews.com.