Natural Gas Facilities Coming to Walton County

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WALTON COUNTY-- Right now all of Walton County and DeFuniak Springs government vehicles run on gasoline.

But DeFuniak Springs City officials have been talking about converting their fleet to natural gas for about a year.

The conversion could extend to the vehicles belonging to Walton County's Administrators, Sheriff's office and School District.

"It is a savings of probably, I would say at least 40 percent per gallon, it may be a lot more than that,” said Mayor Bob Campbell, of DeFuniak Springs.

But getting there won't be cheap.

DeFuniak Springs City Officials say it will cost close to $1 million to build a natural gas filling station.

That doesn't include converting all the vehicles.

Mayor Campbell is hoping the County, the School District and Sheriff's Department will hop on board with the project.

"You can only afford to convert so many vehicles at one time and it would be a long process so we really need more participation,” said Mayor Campbell.

The Walton County Economic Development Alliance believes the conversion could be a business opportunity for someone.

EDA members may build a conversion facility in Freeport, and then find a company to operate the facility and sell the liquefied natural gas to private companies.

"It is the most economic fuel available on the market so there is some incentive for trucking companies, fleets, delivery to convert to LNG fuel,” said Steve Jaeger, Executive Director of the Walton County Economic Development Alliance.

Walton County Administrators, Sheriff's officials and School District leaders all say they'd like to switch to natural gas, but can't afford the conversion right now.