Monday, May 07, 2007

City to Seek Aid For Clean Fleet's Sustainance

City to Seek Aid For Clean Fleet's Sustainance
Panel Wants City To Seek Funding For Program That Promotes Fuel-Efficient Vehicles.
By Jennifer Gentile/Staff Writer

Vacaville's Alternative Fuel Vehicle program is among the most successful in the state and the nation, and the Vacaville City Council will consider Tuesday a staff request to seek funding to continue it.

The program began in 1998, with a presentation, a city staff report says "on the status of electric vehicles and their support for reducing vehicle emissions for not only the city's fleet, but also making it easier for residents to participate."

The next year, the city procured $300,000 in federal air quality funding to apply toward the lease cost on electric vehicles.

Based on the program's initial success, an additional $600,000 came to the city in 2000. The same year, Public Works acquired another $300,000 to launch the Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle Incentive Program, which allows residents to receive a financial incentive toward purchase of a Honda Civic GX.

Through this funding and other sources, "The city has been able to replace nine aging fleet vehicles with dedicated CNG vehicles," according to the staff report.

Residents from Vacaville and the surrounding area understand the benefits, too, the report states, with 72 now driving CNG vehicles through the incentive programs. Another 15 are on a growing waiting list to participate as soon as more funding becomes available.

"Staff will be requesting additional funding to continue this viable program with the Solano Transportation Authority.' Staff has asked council to support this request, allowing the program to continue.

The council will consider another resolution, which concerns applying for a share of state Transportation Development Act Funds. Local transit operations are funded with this money, according to a staff report, which are generated though local sales and fuel taxes.

The City Council must pass a resolution to "claim our allocation of operating, capital and streets and roads funds," the report continues, "totaling approximately $2.8 million."

In other business, the council may approve the Community Development Block Grant Annual Action Plan for fiscal year 2007-08. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires the plan, according to a staff report, for the city to continue receiving funding.

The proposed allocations in the plan, according to the report, "reflect the city's long-term commitment to improve/expand affordable housing, to acquire/improve public facilities and to provide public services in low-income neighborhoods."

Jennifer Gentile can be reached at

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