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Riverbank Council Looks Into Motor Fleet Options
Members of the Riverbank City Council are looking in to possible changes for the city’s motor fleet, depending on cost and reliability, among other considerations.

Riverbank City Manager Sean Scully presented the City Council with considerations for the Motor Fleet’s current issues and future policy at their recent regular meeting. With the majority of the city’s motor fleet being CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) they own a CNG Fast and Slow Fill fueling station located at the Public Works Corporation Yard. The presentation was only a discussion to prepare the council for a future decision regarding the City’s Motor Fleet.

These vehicles are used by staff to perform their duties, Scully said. Several years ago through grant funding the City of Riverbank transitioned its fleet from traditional gasoline powered vehicles to CNG. They were also awarded a grant to construct and install the CNG fueling stations.

During the presentation Scully noted that there are advantages of CNG like minimal emissions, slightly lower fuel costs versus gasoline, and having previously been able to receive grant funding for the purchase of new work vehicles through SJVAPCD (San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District). The disadvantages were that they are more expensive to purchase and maintain versus traditional work vehicles. There are limited CNG fueling sites locally and the council will also have to consider the operation and maintenance costs for maintaining the city owned CNG fueling sites.

The presentation was to give council members a clear picture to consider the options as their fast fill station is aging and the replacement could cost from $750,000 to $1 million. The closest fast fill station is located in Ceres if the one in Riverbank breaks down.

The future policy options presented were to reinvest in CNG by planning to save for the replacement of the fast fill station and begin phased purchase of new CNG trucks and work vehicles. Another option was to transition away from CNG and move into a traditional gas or diesel fleet. Scully stated that they may consider fleet leasing options or phase a transition of the fleet away from CNG to meet short term needs while keeping their options open for new vehicle technology like electric or hybrid.

Comments from the council were leading to transitioning away from the CNG fleet and looking into other options including the traditional gas or diesel trucks or the hybrid or electric options.

Since this was only a discussion at the council meeting last week, Scully advised that it will be brought back within the next month or so with a recommended policy for council consideration of a fleet management strategy for the future budget.