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Santa Monica to Upgrade Pickup Truck Fleet
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310)828-7525 -

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

May 19, 2016 -- The City of Santa Monica plans to add 31 new pickup trucks to its fleet, replacing aging vehicles with new Ford models that run on Compressed Natural Gas for tasks related to everything from animal control to traffic signal maintenance.

Total cost for the new pickups is $1,350,229, City staff said in recommending Fritts Ford, based in Riverside, as the best – and only – bidder.

The new purchases replace vehicles that have been in use between ten and 19 years. The report to the City Council for next Tuesday's meeting does not specify the cost of buying non-CNG pickups, but noted that renting the trucks would be expensive.

“If this purchase is not approved, the current monthly rental rate for a pickup truck from Enterprise Rent-A-Car is $878 per month,” Martin Pastucha, the City's director of public works and street and fleet services, wrote in his report.

“Rental costs are significantly more expensive than the average cost of $138 per month to maintain the vehicle in-house and the average cost of $362 in monthly depreciation,” he said.

Rental vehicles also do not use the alternative fuels the fleet is moving towards as part of the City’s Reduced-Emissions Fuels Policy, he said.

The new Fords replace 29 pickup trucks that are more than a decade old -- their cost-effective life span, by City standards –- and expand the fleet by two vehicles.

Pastucha said the trucks are used in a wide range of services, including code enforcement, engineering and maintaining City facilities, parks, streets and the City fleet itself.

Pickups are also used in the City’s Urban Forest program, animal control, trash, recycling and work involving traffic signals.

A dozen of the replacement pickups will be used for the parks. Meanwhile, one of the new trucks will be earmarked for duties along the beach, including hauling abandoned vendor supplies. The other is reserved for the leader of a new street maintenance crew.

The two additions to the City fleet would cost $93,782, and replacing the older pickups would cost $1,256,447, the report said.

Santa Monica officials began seeking bidders for either the CNG Ford pickups or equal vehicles in April, with 18 vendors downloading the form but only one – Fritts Ford --submitting it.

Pastucha said staff checked with the other vendors again and were told that trucks couldn’t be furnished “as specified.”

He said Ford is only able to manufacture a limited number of CNG F Ford 150 pickups a year, and that it allocates them on a first-come-first-served basis.

The deadline for placing orders for a CNG Ford F150 is July 1.

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