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December 12, 2012

Natural gas station almost ready to open

Mayor Girdler expects fuel pump to draw 200-300 cars daily

Somerset —  

A credit card reading device, now on order, is the only thing standing in the way of Somerset having one of the first compressed natural gas fueling stations open 24/7 for public use in Kentucky.
It should happen within a couple of weeks, according to Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler. The pump, located at the City of Somerset Fuel Center on Chappell’s Dairy Road, will be similar to any service station pump and will take credit cards.
“Compressed natural gas is available now at the fueling center, but people want to use their credit cards,” Girdler said. Fill-ups with a single pole dispenser that require an attendant are done by appointment. Nonetheless, the mayor says a “steady stream” of vehicles are filling up with compressed natural gas at the fuel center during daytime business hours.
Lack of fueling stations is the current problem with natural gas powered vehicles. For example, when Somerset took delivery of its first Honda Civic, city officials had to take it to Wartburg, Tennessee for a fill-up. 
Not only are vehicles powered by compressed natural gas more environmentally friendly, a real savings is realized at the pump.
“I drove a Honda Civic to Louisville on less than $10 worth of natural gas,” Girdler noted. A full cylinder of compressed natural gas at about $1.50 a gallon will power a Honda Civic between 250 and 300 miles. The Honda Civic gets about 37 mph and performs exactly as a gasoline-powered car. 
When the compressed natural gas pump that accepts credit cards is ready, Girdler expects between 200 and 300 cars daily to fill up their natural gas-powered vehicles here.
“These are new people coming to Somerset that will eat at our restaurants and shop in our stores,” the mayor said. He expects Somerset to be a focal point for supplies of compressed natural gas until similar facilities are developed along interstate highways sometime in the future.

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