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City switches vehicles to natural gas

Reported by: Jessica Albert
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Updated: 9/28/2013 6:09 pm

PONTOTOC, Miss. (WTVA) -- People in Pontotoc may have noticed some changes to the city's vehicles.

Five of them will run on natural gas.

Pontotoc Mayor Jeff Stafford says the city has been waiting to use natural gas in its vehicles for five years.

"Gas is a pretty big expense for us," Stafford said.

Natural gas is about half the price of normal fuel.

"The prices of natural gas just dropped and we were going to see how it was going to stay and it stayed low," Stafford said.

Stafford says these vehicles will save the city about $500 dollars a month per vehicle on gas. He says this is not the only benefit of switching over.

"We're trying to cut costs on our maintenance and this is a perfect fit for us," Stafford said.

Cars that run on natural gas can go longer without having to get their oil changed.

People in Pontotoc are all for these vehicles because they are the next step in what could be a nation-wide trend.

"There is going to come a point in time where natural gas is going to be one of our best options for fueling our vehicles," Pontotoc resident Fritz Crytzer said.

The superintendent of the Pontotoc Gas Department says there is an abundance of natural gas in the country.

He says the gas is good for fleet vehicles but switching over for an individual may not be the best choice.

"When you convert one over it is real expensive," Superintendent of the Pontotoc Gas Department Sam Jordan said. "It's just like someone buying a hybrid car."

It costs about $11,000 dollars to switch to natural gas, but Mayor Stafford says this is an investment that will keep the city on track with others.

"If Afghanistan and Pakistan are burning natural gas cars, why can't we do it in Pontotoc?"

Pontotoc's Board of Aldermen will meet Tuesday to talk about getting the city its own natural gas pump.

Stafford says after the city gets their pump in about two weeks, they will begin to talk about changing some of their police cars and school buses to natural gas.

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