Who wouldn’t take a free brand-new car?
Well – almost free.
On Monday, the Lathrop City Council voted to authorize Parks and Recreation Director Zach Jones to purchase a plug-in hybrid vehicle in order to take advantage of a one-time $20,000 grant through the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District that will be utilized by the department.
The 2017 Ford Fusion CMAX Energi being purchased through Elk Grove Ford will initially cost the city $28,000, with the remaining $8,000 not covered by the grant being paid from funds already in the 2017/18 Parks and Recreation budget that was approved by the council in June.
The mid-size plug-in hybrid will continue to result in the reduction of expenditures related to mileage reimbursement and costs incurred for city-related travel.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, which aims at improving the air quality in seven San Joaquin Valley counties – San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern – has long pushed local municipalities to make the switch, when feasible, to cleaner vehicles. In one example, the agency requested that construction crews working on the original Central Lathrop Specific Plan – the failed Richland project which has since been purchased by other agencies and is moving forward with development – utilize hybrid vehicles when possible to reduce the impact on the environment and in an air basin that was described in a 2016 Guardian article as home to the “worst air pollution in America.”
The agency controls a monitoring station behind the Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium at Sierra High School to sample the air for various levels of pollution including particulate matter that is commonly found in agricultural areas.
The new hybrid vehicle will be used for business trips originating from the office, and will replace a 2006 Dodge Charger that is currently a part of the City of Lathrop’s fleet.
Of the three bids that were solicited for vehicles that would serve the city’s needs and meet the SJVAPCD criteria, Elk Grove Ford was the lowest with a vehicle cost of $26,500.25 plus tax and licensing fees.
Based on the agency’s guidelines for the program, Lathrop would still be eligible to replace other vehicles in the city’s fleet up to a $100,000 limit for a calendar year as long as the grant money was still available.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.