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Grant could help police fleet go green
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The task of catching law-breakers could be getting greener here in Turlock if the City Council approves a grant application seeking environmental-friendly vehicles.

The Turlock Police Department hopes to obtain the City Council’s approval to submit an amended grant application for $98,862 to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to be used to purchase vehicles with low emissions.

The grant has to be amended because the Air District has changed its specifications for hybrid vehicles and is only allowing plug-in hybrid models.

If the City Council approves the amended grant and it is accepted by the Air District, the police department will use it to fully purchase four 2013 Trikke Tribred Patrol electric scooters at a cost of $4,715 each, which includes shipping and the needed accessories.

The scooters allow for easy mobility through crowds and could be used at events such as the Stanislaus County Fair. The scooters can travel up to 30 miles on a single charge before having to change out the rechargeable batteries and can reach up to 18 mph. Its specifications make it an ideal vehicle for use in parking enforcement duties, according to the police department.

The additional grant money would be used to partially fund the purchase of four 2013 Ford Fusion plug-in hybrid vehicles. The vehicles would cost $31,188 each, with the grant covering $20,000 per vehicle. The police department’s fleet vehicle fund would cover the remaining costs.

The Ford Fusions would be used to replace vehicles in the police department’s fleet that are in need of replacement. The cars would be used for non-emergency transportation. The Ford Fusions get as much as 50 miles per gallon and can be charged from a standard 110 volt plug.

The Air District is not requiring any matching funds from the city. If the grant is awarded, it could save the police department $80,000.

Also on Tuesday the City Council is expected to:

• Approve the purchase of five Chevrolet pickups at an amount not to exceed $132,265 for use by the Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Division and the Municipal Services Department.

• Approve the 2012 General Plan Implementation Report.

• Award a bid and approve an agreement with Hensley’s Paving and General Engineering Inc. for $90,837 to use on the second phase of Soderquist Road for sidewalk improvements.

• Appropriate $15,000 from the reserve balance in the casualty insurance account to pay attorney’s fees regarding the settlement of the Clean Energy Committee vs. City of Turlock case.

The Turlock City Council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.