Agency receives first piece of hybrid funding |

Agency receives first piece of hybrid funding

Adam Jensen

On June 13, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons signed an Assembly bill that could provide $80,000 to replace a portion of an aging fleet of Tahoe Regional Planning Agency vehicles with hybrids.

These funds, which would replace eight of the TRPA’s 12 vehicles, are contingent on the agency receiving an additional $160,000 from the California legislature, a process that will take at least another year.

“We will ask California for fleet funding during the next budget cycle,” TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan said Wednesday.

The bi-state planning agency receives two-thirds of its funding from California and one third from Nevada taxpayers. If the California legislature does not approve the TRPA’s request, Nevada’s portion of the funds could be withdrawn.

The Nevada funds were requested first because the state’s legislature meets only once every two years, a time frame that could outlast some of the vehicles.

“Our fleet is in desperate need of replacement,” Regan said. “Most of the vehicles have 200,000 to 300,000 miles on them.”

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While Regan said replacing the current fleet with hybrids was part of “walking the talk” for an agency charged with environmental protection, maintenance costs for the vehicles have also been growing.

Four hybrids vehicles are already apart of the TRPA’s fleet, and will not be replaced as part of the funding request.