The Endless Mountains Transportation Authority board of directors passed a resolution Wednesday authorizing the purchase of compressed natural gas equipment for a fueling station to be built in Athens.

Beavers Petroleum Equipment Company of Horseheads, N.Y. was the sole bidder for the project at $759,875, said Kevin Kilpatrick of River Valley Transit, part of a group of transit authorities currently handling management duties for EMTA.

Funding for $600,000 of the cost will come from an Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant EMTA received from the state Department of Environmental Protection in partnership with Williams Oil Company and Chesapeake Energy. The remainder of the cost will be assumed by Williams Oil, according to the resolution.

The awarding of the bid is contingent upon concurrence by the DEP and proper submission and execution of the appropriate bonds and contract documents, the resolution reads.

If all goes well, Beavers officials said the equipment can be delivered and installed by March 15, ahead of the grant's March 30 completion deadline, Kilpatrick said.

The grant also includes $150,000 for EMTA to purchase new CNG vehicles or retrofit existing ones. Officials have said they plan to purchase one or two vehicles to start with.

EMTA officials will also continue to pursue funding sources to build or modify a garage for CNG vehicle storage and maintenance, Kilpatrick said. CNG vehicles have specific requirements for indoor storage, but the vehicles can be "de-fueled" and then taken into a regular garage for maintenance if necessary, he said.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: arenko@thedailyreview.com.