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State fleet manager looking for conservation measures

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – The director of North Dakota's state fleet says at the halfway point of the biennium, half his budget remains.

But Paul Hanson says his division of the Department of Transportation is implementing more conservation measures.

The state fleet consists of about 3200 tate-owned cars and trucks.

Hanson says he did anticipate higher gasoline prices -- but he didn't anticipate $4 a gallon. So, he says his division has been taking some steps to conserve fuel.

"Over the past two years, we've bought vehicles that have better gas mileage," said Hanson. "We've saved over 50,000 gallons of gasoline. And we'll continue as we replace vehicles to buy better-mileage vehicles."

Hanson says he expects more meetings will be done by interactive television -- thereby cutting back on travel. He says he's urging state employees who use the vehicles to slow down a little. Hanson also says some of the vehicles are using bio-diesel.

"We do run 20 percent bio-diesel in the summertime, so that's helping to offset the use of petroleum products," said Hanson.

Hanson says 450 vehicles in the fleet use E-85 -- and he says he's testing a handful of "flex-fuel" vehicles.