Cleveland Heights gets a good deal on a mini-fleet of electric cars for new inspectors

Cleveland Heights gets a good deal on a mini-fleet of electric cars for new inspectors

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — New city inspectors will be greeted with a small fleet of new electric cars to make their rounds.

City Council on Monday (Jan. 23) approved the purchase of six 2023 Chevy Bolt EVs for $180,000 — enough price break to add an additional car to previous funding projections.

“We tried to find a good deal on electric cars for the Planning and Development Department, which now includes housing and zoning inspection, those kinds of activities that require you to be out in the community,” Mayor Kahlil Seren told the council in a special statement. encounter.

“And one of our goals has been convert our fleet of internal combustion engines.”

VanDevere Chevrolet’s offer calls for six new bolts at $29,000 each, well below the asking price through the state’s cooperative purchasing program, which was closer to $35,000 per vehicle.

And because of the local savings that allow for an additional car where only five were budgeted for, a formal bidding process is not necessary, city officials said.

The sixth car will “make it more efficient and effective in rotation,” though Seren is still looking for a total of eight EVs in its expanded City Planning Department.

“We now have a more pressing need for additional equipment, so we can ramp up our inspection services and begin bringing back to internal” some of the services that have been outsourced in recent years, Seren said.

“But going forward, we hope to become more incremental in our capital upgrades.”

Chargers — starting with at least two — could cost a separate $100,000, based on previous estimates, Seren said in response to a question from Councilor Gail Larson.

“These will be ‘pool’ vehicles for planning and development for anyone who needs to go on site in one of the divisions,” such as community development, economic development, planning or inspection services, Seren said.

The acquisition also aligns with goals for Cleveland Heights which has joined the “Energize a clean future Ohiocoalition in 2021 to reduce its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 30 percent by the end of the decade. This is known as the “Ohio 30-by-30 Pledge.”

Alderman Davida Russell asked how many new employees the city plans to hire as inspection goes back internal.

“Once we reach full headcount, we will have up to six housing inspectors, a zoning inspector, and additionally a superintendent, a property surveyor,” and the building commissioner, Seren said, while some existing cars in the fleet will also be used in the rotation.

Councilor Tony Cuda asked if workers using their own vehicles had been considered as an option. Seren said yes, but using personal vehicles was not a “preferred option” given wear and tear, breakdown and insurance issues.

Responding to a question from Councilor Melody Joy Hart, Seren said the Cleveland Heights city logo will be affixed to all new cars so that residents and property owners can identify them.

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