Grand Junction City Council approves purchase of natural gas-run garbage trucks

The Grand Junction City Council approved the purchase Monday of the city’s first four fleet vehicles powered entirely by compressed natural gas.

The city will pay $1.05 million for four garbage trucks that are scheduled to arrive in about 10 months. That will allow the city time to prepare a fueling station and maintenance shop for the vehicles.

The city plans to convert its entire fleet in the solid waste division to natural gas-powered vehicles within the next eight years. City Solid Waste and Streets Manager Darren Starr said the conversion makes sense because the department uses more diesel fuel than any other city department.

Also approved by the council Monday night, the Grand Junction Police Department will use a $245,039 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Safety to form the Western Colorado Auto Theft Task Force. The task force will have six members representing the Fruita and Grand Junction police departments, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, the Colorado State Patrol, and the Mesa County District Attorney’s office.

Between 2000 and 2008, Mesa County went from having 1.18 percent of Colorado’s auto thefts to having 2.39 percent of the car thefts in the state. Deputy Grand Junction Police Chief Troy Smith said the task force would look into reducing the number of auto thefts in Mesa County for at least the two years the grant will provide funding. The task force will only continue past two years if additional funding is secured, Smith said.


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