A bird’s eye view of current and proposed CNG facility layout.

For now, moving ahead to build a joint-use compressed natural gas fueling station on property between the school district and the city of Banning are on hold, as both municipalities hold out for potential grants.

“The focus on joint construction with Banning Unified School District and the city has taken a back seat” as they await the results of grant applications the school district has sent in, Public Works Director Art Vela told city council at its Aug. 27 meeting.

The school district should hear back from its potential funding source by November, Vela reported.

So far, the district has received $275,000, he said.

The original design of a CNG fueling facility is to build adjacent to their current facility at the corporate yard on Lincoln Street.

Part of it would be built on property owned by the city; the other half would encompass property owned by the school district.

For the time being, Vela recommended the city share the cost with the school district $25,000 towards reconstruction of a 50-horsepower compressor as backup, in order to accommodate the city’s transit buses and street sweeper, along with more than 20 buses from the school district.

Without the backup, vehicles would have to go to Hemet, Moreno Valley, Redlands or Palm Springs to fuel up.

Earlier this summer Beaumont purchased land to construct a CNG station for Pass Transit buses and various city vehicles, anticipating funding to come from a Riverside County Transportation Commission grant and its Wastewater Treatment Plant reserve fund.

Beaumont school district has its own CNG facility.

According to Banning Unified School District Superintendent’s Robert Guillen told the city council that while there would likely be 28 fueling stations between the two entities, the school district is seeking four electric buses, and would not need all of the fueling stations simultaneously.

The school district is waiting to hear results from its application of a Carl Moyer Program grant through the California Air Resources Board, and has informed the city that the grant “would fund the CNG facility in its entirety” if it is awarded.

The district says that it has already obtained a $275,000 Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee grant for the project.

The proposed facility would be constructed half on the city’s property and half on the school district’s property.

Since the municipalities shall await results of the school district’s potential Carl Moyer funding, the district will delay plans for building a new CNG facility.

For now, the district and the city will co-fund $25,000 to rehabilitate a 50-horsepower compressor skid as they await funding results.

If the district does not receive further funding, then the city will move forward on a second component of its council action by replacing the 50-horsepower compressor with a 100-horsepower compressor skids at a cost of $510,000.

The city has already received $590,000 in State Transit Assistance funds, and $35,000 from the California Air Resources Board’s low-carbon Air Quality Improvement Fund.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.


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