Springdale -- Springdale Water Utilities is adding compressed natural gas vehicles to its fleet.

The Water and Sewer Commission approved the purchase of two vehicles Wednesday.

"We really want to be the leader in Northwest Arkansas to support the CNG movement." says Heath Ward, Executive Director of Springdale Water Utilities. "We think there's a lot of potential savings for our fleet long term and this will be a nice pilot program to get started."

Two Springdale Kum & Go locations plan to add CNG fueling stations, using rebates from the Arkansas Energy Office, and Rich Davis of Source Gas believes the alternative fuel will become more popular once the stations are up and running.

"It's affordable, it's safe, it's abundant and it's a natural resource in Arkansas," Davis says. "Using compressed natural gas to fuel a vehicle makes all the sense in the world to us."

Davis drives a bi-fuel vehicle that can run on gasoline, or CNG. He says the equivalent of a gallon of gas runs just $1.55 for CNG.

"Gasoline prices fluctuate with whatever is going on with the world," Davis says. "Compressed natural gas is being supplied by Arkansas natural resources."

Source Gas also plans to convert more of it's fleet, and hopes more in Northwest Arkansas will soon do the same.

"We have to walk the walk," Davis says. "We're converting vehicles because we believe in it. We think that it's going to add jobs. We think it's going to add money to the economy."

The first location, at the intersection of Robinson and Old Missouri should be open by the end of the year.

The water utility plans to drive the vehicles for three to six months to test the savings, and may eventually add more to the fleet.

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