Harford County Government and Harford County Public Schools have signed a ground-breaking agreement on shared access to county-owned fueling stations that will improve operational efficiencies and avoid long term repair and maintenance costs for the school system. The agreement allows for school-owned vehicles, including school buses, to use the county government’s six fueling stations located countywide. The move will better utilize county-owned facilities and allow the school system to close its deteriorating fueling station in Hickory, which supplies 95% of the school system’s needs. Under the agreement signed April 3, the county government and public schools would continue to pay separately for their respective fuel costs using comprehensive tracking software to ensure accountability.
Harford County Public Schools owns approximately 263 vehicles and 139 tractors that consume 360,000 gallons of fuel annually.
“This partnership will allow HCPS to avoid future infrastructure repairs to failing underground fuel storage tanks and to save money by reducing the distance to access fueling facilities,” said Joe Licata, chief of administration for HCPS. “In addition to operational efficiencies, a preliminary analysis indicates that by closing rather than upgrading the Hickory site, HCPS would avoid $115,000 in costs over five years. These types of partnerships ultimately save much needed funds that will be redirected to our classrooms.”
The site sharing agreement arose from recommendations made by an independent analysis of fleet management and maintenance practices commissioned by the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman. The study by industry experts Mercury Associates, Inc. of Rockville, Md. was to identify opportunities to improve levels of service, increase accountability, and reduce overall fleet costs. Additional recommendations from the study are under consideration and discussions with the school system are ongoing.
“As my administration continues to look for more efficient ways of doing business, we saw this sharing agreement as a way to avoid unnecessary duplication and make the most of existing resources paid for by county taxpayers,” said County Executive Barry Glassman. “We are pleased that Harford County Public Schools continues to partner with us as we work together for the citizens we serve.”
Superintendent Barbara Canavan hailed the agreement. “We look forward to this and more collaborative efforts with the County Government. These discussions encourage continued efficiency and illustrate our efforts to find additional cost-saving measures which allow us to focus on the education of our students, which is always our top priority.”