Grand Terrace uses state cash to buy hybrid
Using funds from a state fund for improving air quality, the code enforcement department replaced its rear-wheel drive Chevrolet Tahoe with a 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid 4 x 4.
Other staff members will also be allowed to use the sport utility vehicle. That will provide a lot of peace of mind, according to Richard Shields, director of public works.
"Staff has always wanted a four-wheel vehicle in case we need to get up (steep hills) for an emergency," Shields said. "We've had situations last year with the storm where we had to get up the hill and we weren't able to get there."
They gained access with a high-horsepower, open-air vehicle and skilled driving, Shields said, but that may not always be possible.
Joyce Powers, community and economic development director, said the hybrid status saved Grand Terrace money in the short- and long-term.
"We have these funds available through AQMD, and it will be more economical," she said.
The city has saved up about $70,000 in Air Quality Management District funds from the state, which only allows the money to be used for items that improve air quality.
The total cost for the vehicle is $32,000, based on estimates the city received from its lowest bidder, Redlands Ford.
The Escape gets 31 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The Tahoe, which was used through a lease that ended in November, gets about 21 combined miles per gallon.