WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) - The City of Westlake took its first step in bringing another source of alternative fuel to Southwest Louisiana.
It has requested funding from the state for a fast-fill compressed natural gas (or CNG) station near the I-10 exit in Westlake.
The closet CNG station is in Lafayette or Beaumont, Westlake Mayor Bob Hardy said, adding that a station would be beneficial because of all the traffic that comes through the city.
"There's many 18-wheelers running on the interstate today with compressed natural gas," said Hardy. "It's going to be the wave of the future."
Hardy said with the demand of CNG increasing across the United States, he wants to be a pioneer and add a station to Westlake.
"We want to own it, maintain it, and sell CNG to truckers and the people," he said.
Hardy said he met with Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state leaders about funding.
Hardy also said bringing a station to the city would carry a $2 million price tag, but that he's willing to raise half-a-million if the state can fund the other $1.5 million, which in turn would help taxpayers.
"We hope to get this thing going and let it supply revenue to the city where the citizens of Westlake can benefit from it," said Hardy. "Plus, you're going green, so there's an environmental impact."
Hardy reiterated this won't be an overnight venture.
"They're saying it's about a 16-month break over before you start saving your money," he said.
Hardy added that in a perfect scenario he would put the site on the old Conoco station, along I-10 or somewhere on Sampson Street.
Hardy has invited over 50 companies to attend a workshop about the use of CNG next Wednesday, Dec. 6, with the hopes of having some of them convert to using natural gas in their vehicles.
The workshop will be held from 8-11 a.m., at Westlake City Hall.