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Councillor against buying 4 new gas-powered trucks for Salmon Arm fleet

Local dealership wins bid, councillor would prefer used vehicles now and electric trucks in 10 years
Several electric vehicle charging stations are currently in the city, including the BC Hydro station at the Ross Street parking lot and those at Canadian Tire, pictured above. (File photo)

Salmon Arm council has given the green light to the purchase of four new trucks from a local company, a purchase that did not sit well with one city councillor.

A staff report noted that a request for quotes was advertised on BC Bid for the supply and delivery of four pickups.

Three companies quoted, one from Vancouver, one from Coquitlam and one from Salmon Arm.

Salmon Arm’s Braby Motors was the lowest bid at $298,000 including taxes for two 2023 Dodge Ram 1500s and two 2023 Dodge Ram 2500s.

Staff noted the four units being replaced are 22, 21, 20 and 19 years respectively.

“These units are used mainly for movement of staff to and from project sites with the ability to haul or tow small to medium items…. Due to the age of the existing units, they were often in the shop for repair and not available. New replacements should elevate the availability and service levels to ensure staff and material are easily moved from site to site,” reads the staff report.

The purchase required a budget amendment to add $91,500 to available funds. The bulk of the amount, $65,700, came from the city’s equipment replacement reserve fund. Staff noted that current rates have increased 119 per cent over 2019 purchase prices.

Coun. Sylvia Lindgren was alone in voting against the purchase for environmental reasons, stating the new gas-fired vehicles will be going on the road for 20 years.

“The planet can’t take 20 more years of us shopping for internal combustion engines…,” she said, adding there are plenty of government grants for electric vehicles.

She said she would rather the city buy used vehicles that would be taken off the road in 10 years, at which time she expected there would be enough electric trucks with the capabilities needed.

Mayor Alan Harrison said he appreciated Lindgren’s take on the motion, and it might be different if there were electric trucks available now.

He added that it’s nice to see a local business being the low bid.

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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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