Williamson County opened its new propane fueling station Jan. 5 at J.B. & Hallie Jester Williamson County Annex in Round Rock.

Construction of the station was funded by a $208,420 grant from the Railroad Commission of Texas.

The grant helped support the conversion of selected county vehicles and the construction of countywide propane fueling sites based on benefits provided by the incorporation of propane, including reduced environmental impact of propane emissions, cost savings of propane fuel compared to average cost per gallon of gasoline, and reduced number of oil changes required.

"I think we've taken a very proactive stance in taking care of our environment," Williamson County Commissioner Ron Morrison said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Williamson County currently has 24 propane-fueled vehicles in operation and plans on having about 31 when all conversions are completed. In addition to the Round Rock fueling station, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Florence, Taylor and Granger all have fueling stations as well.

"Propane is beneficial to the economy of Texas," Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter said.

Propane is 97 percent North American produced, with one-third of the propane supply being produced in Texas, he said. During the last 12 months, the average price of gasoline to Williamson County was $3.15 per gallon while the average price of propane was $1.82 per gallon.

The county will also be eligible for a 50 cent per gallon federal tax credit upon completion of all fueling stations, making the cost of propane $1.36 per gallon.

Williamson County Fleet Services expects a projected yearly fuel savings of $61,000.