Has county had its fill of fuel tanks?

Commission weighing replacing suppling gas, diesel to its fleet.

Grays Harbor commissioners are discussing what to do about county-owned fuel tanks that are nearing the end of their usefulness.

The commissioners have to decide whether to replace some or all or none of them. Then, if the choice is made to replace them, the board will have to choose between above- or below-ground tanks. The former cost less to maintain but aren’t as nice to look at for neighbors.

Four road maintenance facilities across the county have the tanks, in Copalis, Cosmopolis, Elma and Montesano. Most sites have two 4,000 gallon tanks — one for diesel, one for unleaded gasoline. The exception is Montesano’s diesel tank, which holds 10,000 gallons.

County Equipment Rental and Revolving Manager James Kost would like to see all tanks replaced or eliminated within the next 10 years.

“The big question is budget and removing the old tanks,” Kost said.

During last week’s commission workshop, Kost estimated it would take about $50,000 to remove each underground tank. However, total costs could vary widely depending on environmental considerations.

Above-ground tank installation and accompanying construction would cost between $75,000 and $100,000 each, Kost said at last week’s meeting.

County officials estimated there is a 35% cost savings from having the fuel stations versus buying fuel from commercial stations.

At Tuesday’s workshop, county officials said they would not recommend closing the Copalis facility because of the lack of services in the area.

Other business

The county’s Pearsol building in Aberdeen needs a new roof. “We’re at the point where we’re not going to be able to wait much longer,” Mark Cox, the county’s director of community development, said of the building at last week’s commission workshop. “It’s in horrible condition.”

Replacing the roof is on the commission’s to-do list.