BY JULIE FARREN
The city of Beaumont has purchased 6.15 acres at the southwest corner of Fourth Street and Veile Avenue to construct a compressed natural gas fueling station for Pass Transit buses and for additional space for the Public Works Department.
Beaumont City Manager Todd Parton said at the May 21 city council meeting that the purchase needed to be approved that night so that escrow could close within 10 days.
Mayor Pro-tem Rey Santos recused himself from the discussion.
Parton said that funding for the land was coming from two sources: $1.5 million from a transit grant through Riverside County Transportation Commission and $1 million through the Wastewater Treatment Plant reserve fund.
The city used the Beaumont School District’s CNG fueling station on Cougar Way until the school district stopped access to the city a few years ago.
Parton said that the city has been working with Southern California Gas Co. to construct a CNG station at the southwest corner of Fourth Street and Veile Avenue.
The property is located in an industrial area that is consistent with the General Plan, Parton said.
Along with a CNG station, there will be room to relocate the Transit Department to a full service centralized campus, according to the city staff report.
This will include a bus parking area, transit operations/administration building, and a vehicle maintenance shop.
It also is adjacent to the Wastewater Treatment plant and will include a storage yard, land for operational requirements of the Community Services Department and Street Management Department.
Parton said that the city will go through the appropriate CEQA process.
Council members were supportive of the purchase of land.
“I think this is a good investment in our future,” said councilmember Mike Lara.
Councilmember Nancy Carroll wondered about other possible sources of power besides the electronic fueling station. Parton said the city will be looking at additional sources of power as it constructs more buildings.
Carroll was pleased with the progress. “I’m really glad to see us finally being able to get some closure on the CNG station,” she said. “It will not only be a forward-thinking thing for the city and cost effective, but it’s also going to help Transit tremendously.”