I think the recent Press-Republican article and editorial with respect to the Town of Keene's policies regarding fuel use need some clarification.
The public is led to believe because there were 18 occasions on which fuel was pumped and there was no signature, that we have no policy or oversight. That is incorrect.
Having reviewed the documentation from July 2011 through December 2011, there were 21 occasions where fuel was pumped with no signature. These, I was told, are the same months that the Press Republican reporter was shown.
The vehicles and equipment that are allowed to use the town's pumps are equipment and vehicles belonging to or doing business for the Town of Keene as well as our two fire departments.
When a vehicle gets fuel, we have a pump for which a key is required and a sheet where one is supposed to identify the department, the vehicle or equipment being filled, the date, the reading on the pump (before and after fueling) the amount and a signature. We also cross reference the amount of fuel delivered to the amount of fuel pumped on a monthly basis.
These amounts are compiled and reviewed, and the fuel used by the fire departments is then billed to them, and the town's general fund is reimbursed.
All the fuel pumped during those dates was accounted for by the equipment that was signed out. There was always documentation of the vehicle, department, amount and dates when the fuel was pumped.
The 21 occasions where a signature was missing are:
▶ July 2011, three times, all Keene Fire Department.
▶ August 2011, eight times: three by Keene Valley Fire Department, one by Keene Fire Department and four times for vehicles from Lake Placid assisting us during Hurricane Irene.
▶ September 2011, five times: one by a Lake Placid vehicle (also hurricane related, actual date Aug. 30, 2011), two by Keene Fire Department and two by Keene Valley Fire Department.