Alliance AutoGas marked its expansion into Greeneville on Sept. 28 with a ribbon cutting and grand opening of its refueling site on Tusculum Boulevard.
The refueling site for propane gas vehicles, operated by Alliance in partnership with Blossman Gas, is the result of several entities — both public and private — working together, said Happy Fox, alternative fuel consultant with Alliance AutoGas.
“We are glad to be opening in the city of Greeneville,” Fox said. “We are happy to be part of this community.”
The refueling site is used by NetTrans, which currently operates one propane gas vehicle in Greene County, and will be used by the Greeneville Police Department once it begins to convert vehicles to use propane.
Alliance converts the vehicles to use propane gas as a substitute for petroleum gas, Fox explained. In addition to lower fuel costs, the use of propane also reduces vehicle emissions, he said.
Candace Gump, director of NetTrans, said the refueling site complements the transportation’s service plans for its third phase of converting 16 of its vehicles for propane fuel use. Eight of those will be designated for use in Greene County.
“We are anticipating a cost savings of $30,000 a year from this site alone,” she said. NetTrans, which is operated through the First Tennessee Human Resource Agency, provides transportation services for eight counties.
Gump thanked Alliance, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, local government officials and the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition for assisting NetTrans in the project to convert the vans to propane use.
“This is a win-win situation for NetTrans as well as for taxpayers,” said State Rep. David Hawk. R-5th, of Greeneville, who serves on the First Tennessee Human Resource Agency board of directors “This will help NetTrans provide its service as effectively and efficiently as possible.”
Both Hawk and Fox thanked local businessman Kent Bewley for his role in helping find a site for the refueling station. “These kinds of public-private partnerships are the wave of the future and what will be need for communities to be successful,” Hawk said.
Alliance AutoGas was working with NetTrans in the Tri-Cities, and the company began looking for a site in Greeneville.
Fox said that the company talked with Bewley, president and CEO of Bewley Properties Inc., about finding an appropriate site for the refueling station and he made the location available to them.
As part of its services, Alliance works to provide a place where the propane vehicles can be serviced locally, Fox said. Bewley put the company in contact with Dale Kyker, owner of Kykers Xtreme Automotive, which is located nearby, Fox said.
Mechanics at Kykers Automotive are now trained to service propane vehicles, which will be a convenient location for those using the refueling site, he said.
Bewley said he was glad to be able to work with Alliance and find an adequate site for the refueling station. “This is a great addition to the city and county,” he said.
Greeneville City Administrator Todd Smith said the town was appreciative to be partnering with so many entities and thanked NetTrans for leading the way in conversion to propane fuel.
The Greeneville Police Department will begin converting some of its vehicles in the near future, reducing pollution and costs, he continued.
The town is exploring the possibilities of other departments converting their vehicles, Smith said.