Towards the end of the county's public works committee meeting last Thursday, state patrol superintendent Ben Rich revealed the highway department will stop selling fuel to the Rhinelander Police Department.
"I just found out today, but (highway commissioner Bruce) Stefonek informed me city police will be going elsewhere for fuel," he said. "They'll be buying from Kwik Trip Inc."
Since last year, the Rhinelander Police Department has been looking for ways to cut down on its spending. As gas is a major part of the budget - around 10,000 gallons are planned for each year - officers began to look for a cheaper alternative to Oneida County services.
"We spoke with the sheriff and started working on doing a deal in December 2017," police captain Ron Lueneburg said. "They'd been with Kwik Trip exclusively that year and said it had saved them money. So, in January we got on to their account. More fuel gets consumed and it helps drive prices down."
Under the arrangement worked out with the Oneida County sheriff's office, the department gets invoiced each month for fuel they purchase. Once the bill comes in, the sheriff is then repaid. As Lueneburg told The Lakeland Times, the arrangement is very open, avoids additional expenses from the county and is projected to bring in modest savings. "Right now, it is hard to give in locked numbers," he said. "But, things are looking good. We could potentially save $700 to $1,000 a year. It is all transparent and the paperwork can justify everything. Also, with this, we avoid the 4 percent administration charge the highway department gave us (this is applied to anyone working with the county), and that's pretty nice. The relationship with them was great, what drove us to switch was simply the cost of fuel."
Evan J. Pretzer may be reached via email at email@example.com.
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