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September 26, 2022

PVUSD busses to go electric

WATSONVILLE—The Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a plan to purchase a fleet of electric busses, and build the infrastructure necessary to charge them.

PVUSD Director of Transportation Katie Powell said the move comes thanks to an incentive program by PG&E to bring wires to the meters of the district’s transportation yard at 196 Grimmer Street. 

A grant from the California Energy Commission will provide $2.9 million for eight new electric busses, and $480,000 for infrastructure such as charging stations.

Powell estimated that the project will take approximately five years to implement. She said the move will help the district lessen the amount of greenhouse gasses its vehicles emit and remove several “gross polluters” from the road.

“Its good for our community, it’s good for the air quality,” she said. 

The item passed 6 – 0. Trustee Georgia Acosta was away from the table.

In other action, the trustees unanimously approved a contract for an independent contractor that will help the district create its facilities master plan, which is a comprehensive, system-wide description of its facilities, how it uses them and how it plans to develop them in the future.

Under the $514,700 contract, Santa Cruz-based MADI architects will help the district replace its current 9-year-old plan for the document.

The process is expected to take until June 2020, said PVUSD spokeswoman Alicia Jimenez. The district will then use the information for planning purposes.

Jimenez added that the process requires an outside contractor because professionals such as engineers and architects are needed for the evaluations.

The new document will replace the district’s 9-year-old plan. It will also help the district meet legal requirements if officials choose to ask the public to approve bond measures in the future, said PVUSD Chief Business Officer Joe Dominguez.


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