MOUNT VERNON — Wise Choice Propane will be expanding its facilities to include a reloading station in Utica, just south of Velvet Ice Cream. The purpose of the new station is to serve customers in a more timely and cost-efficient manner.
“We have a lot of customers in Licking County and we go down into Fairfield County,” said Susan Hogg of Wise Choice. “It’s like truck drivers who are paying $3 a gallon for fuel; they like to find a load back after they make a delivery. What we are doing is we feel we can better serve our customers by having a location down there so that we do not have to head back up to Mount Vernon, reload and then head back down [to Licking County].
“We’re probably saving about two hours worth of time by not having to drive back to Mount Vernon to reload the trucks,” Hogg said. “When we have storage tanks down there [in Utica], we can reload the trucks there and get back quicker to the customer. And in the wintertime, less travel on the roads is better. And it will save wear and tear on the roads and the trucks. It’s about cost reduction. This will reduce our costs.”
Hogg said the tanks were put in on April 29 and are ready for filling. For now, the facility will be unmanned, and used only to refill the delivery tank trucks. It will not have an office and will not be able to refill cylinders. That could change in the future, according to Hogg. The Mount Vernon facility does refill canisters for RVs and has even done it for several propane-powered automobiles that have passed through the county.
“And we have two trucks that run entirely on propane,” Hogg added. “It’s clean burning and the engines last longer.”