Concerns over fuel card spurs debate among officials

JOHNSTOWN — Town board members debated whether a town employee violated the town’s WEX fuel card policy when having a gas can filled up for town use.

Councilman Tim Rizzo expressed his concerns to the town of the misuse of the WEX fuel card during the town board’s regular meeting on Monday, claiming one of the town’s employees violated the policy.

Supervisor Jack Wilson explained the employee needed the five-gallon gas can filled for the snowblower and eventually for the lawn mower in the summer in which the Highway Superintendent Jack Smullen used a fuel card to fill up the gas can so the town employee could complete her duties.

“We have to be able to fill those five gallon cans, if there’s something that was left out of the policy that we aren’t supposed to do that, then I guess I need to add another sentence in. Nothing was done wrong,” Wilson said.

Rizzo said however, not only did it violate the policy, it could cause misreadings with the mileage.

Wilson said the gas can only gets filled about once or twice a year.

“I’m not going to worry about it. Tim, I haven’t worried about the gas mileage, there’s not a vehicle out there we can worry about the gas mileage on. Some of those plow trucks probably get about a mile a gallon,” Wilson said.

According to the town’s Fuel Card Policy and Procedures, the purpose is to provide guidelines governing the provisioning and usage for the town managed fuel card with WEX for town vehicles.

The cards are issued to the town’s personnel who operate its fleet of vehicles.

“This policy was adopted to maintain appropriate records necessary to sustain a more controlled system,” the policy states.

According to the policy, fuel cards will be managed internally. Any lost, broken or stolen are to be reported to supervisor or bookkeeper; cards will be issued to vehicles and kept in the assigned vehicle; cards are for town vehicles only, unauthorized charges will be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment; records of all transactions are required for each driver; all receipts should be turned over to the highway superintendent who will turn them into the supervisor’s office.

“I don’t personally have an issue with the way it got filled. I don’t think it’s a problem,” said Councilman Don VanDeusen. “It’s probably a better way of tracking it than trying to track it with petty cash.”

Other council members agreed.

“If it’s town business, I don’t see an issue with it,” VanDeusen said.

Councilman Walter Lane said the policy can be updated if need be.

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