Town of Johnstown: 2019 year in review vol. I

The NYS Comptroller identified management issues via verbal report regarding town operations and a written fuel audit released in December 2019. The comptroller was on and off site from April 15, to Oct. 17, 2019. Per the fuel audit the town is taking measures to assure accountability, tracking, and protocol due to failed fuel records/management. Though “unaccounted for” is not the answer, it is a similar pattern of failed policies and record keeping which is continually noted, even today upon other topics. One major concern that should have been resolved years prior was that pumps were outdated and out of calibration, along with permitting. This alone would have helped eliminate errors in volume records and better control.

While working with the new highway supervisor, a review upon the “gasoline” usage has value, though the comptroller calculations are not identified in the report. When averaging the mileage, to fuel, to age of vehicle, slight reduction in consumption (12.5 percent) for gasoline equipment/fire departments, consumed gasoline, it is close to the needed volumes, but still with differences. This can be due to vehicles idling for long periods of time, or evaporation within the tank, or mismanagement as the report details, as an example. But, there was a reduction of gasoline in 2019 by almost 1,000 gallons, where 2016-18 averaged 5,762 gallons. Though the gasoline is approximately 1/5 of the net fuel volume, the real question is what is the mismanagement that calculates the fuel consumption? The odometers show that the mileage upon the vehicles are one issue that should be added to the mix. On average, between four gas trucks, it is estimated that 196 miles daily (five day work week) is placed upon the fleet which includes the code officer. Better management in vehicle operations seem to be a “key” in reducing gasoline consumption and this was also noted by the prior highway supervisor that a quad cab was needed to consolidate the employees, though one vehicle has excessive mileage compared to other fleet vehicles.

Better management upon fuel records, consumption, and task management can help reduce cost and increase the life span of vehicles. This shows to be a valuable option as long as it is managed along with the newly proposed fuel protocol. No matter what is said, the verbal and publish comptroller report was an eye opener, in many ways about the historical operations of the town.

Councilman Timothy Rizzo



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