WYDOT explains fuel policy

The Wyoming Department of Transportation has fueling stations at all its offices and some remote locations in order to make sure their fleet has fuel for all operations. On occasion, outside government agencies can enter into cooperating agreements to use WYDOT’s fuel.

“We bid our fuel every two years and most recently we bid in August,” District 5 District Engineer Shelby Carlson said. The agency had three bidders for District 5, she said, with Bailey Oil in Riverton winning bids on some of the 13 sites in the district and Murdoch Oil of Greybull winning the other bids in the district.

District Maintenance Engineer Ron Huff said WYDOT has 12 maintenance sites in the district and one remote site at Russell Creek. “They all have fueling capabilities to run our equipment,” he said. They are in the process of adding one more remote site in the Brook’s Lake area.

Carlson said, “We’re a 24-7 operating agency with (Wyoming Highway) patrol, our snow plows and road maintenance. We need the ability to fuel our trucks at any time.”

They bid both unleaded and diesel fuel, Huff said. Rather than a fixed rate they bid a certain percentage above the rack price. The price includes delivery to the site. For diesel, Huff said, the price includes a blended price for winter to ensure the diesel fuel doesn’t gel, leaving the vehicles inoperable.

At the Basin district office, both unleaded and diesel tanks hold 2,000 gallons, Huff said.

“Our ultimate goal is to make sure we have enough fuel to do our job,” he said.

Other state, county and municipal agencies can request use of the fueling stations. Carlson said in the district they have cooperating agreements with Fremont County and the City of Lander. “When we put the fueling facility in Lander we entered into a joint agreement and cooperation on construction,” she said.

Last month, WYDOT said yes for the first time to a school district — Big Horn County School District No. 4. Carlson said they have had other requests but base each request upon the reason for the request and if the request will impact WYDOT’s ability to fuel their own fleet properly.

Huff said they don’t go out and actively submit fuel bids or compete against private enterprise.

Carlson added, “We enter into cooperative agreements. If it’s better for them to use our facility then hopefully it’s better for the taxpayer.”

She said the fueling operation is “revenue neutral,” meaning the cost they charge to outside agencies is just enough to recoup their costs for fuel and operating the facility.

“We don’t bid against private enterprises. They (the district) approached us,” Carlson said.

Huff added, “We’re a user, not a supplier.”