UP Approves Purchase of First Electric Vehicle

University Park’s city council approved the purchase of the city’s first electric vehicle during its Feb. 6 meeting. 

The 2023 Nissan Leaf costs $26,888.05 and will replace a 2010 Ford Focus, purchasing manager Elizabeth Anderson told the council. The vehicle will be used by the parks superintendent to travel between the city’s various parks to monitor maintenance and special projects, she explained.

“The city’s Centennial Master Plan has identified sustainability and conservation as a priority for the city over the next 20 – 30 years. Under this goal, an action item has been established to create a pilot program to convert some city vehicles to electric,” community information officer Paige Ruedy explained after the meeting. Employee participants in the city’s most recent internal leadership academy class developed the program’s framework, she said.

The city does not plan to transition its entire fleet to electric vehicles, city manager Robbie Corder said on Feb. 8 during the mayor’s State of the City Address. 

In an overview of the 2023 Leaf, Forbes noted that its “big selling point in the pricey world of electrics is its under 30K starting price,” and praised the vehicle’s small size and maneuverability. Forbes was critical of the Leaf’s mileage and charging technology.

In other business:

  • The city council approved the adoption of University Park’s first Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Master Plan, which includes goals, policies, and objectives that provide direction for staff, director of parks and recreation Sean Johnson said. A master plan is also required to obtain accreditation from the National Recreation and Park Association. The benefits of accreditation include boosting credibility, helping reduce costs and secure financial support, and improving accountability, Johnson explained.
  • The city council recognized the promotion of George Jones to fire captain in the department’s prevention division after 26 years of service. “We affectionately refer to George as the Swiss army knife of the fire department,” fire chief Randy Howell told the council.
  • Mayor Tommy Stewart read a proclamation in appreciation of Texas Rangers general manager Chris Young, who led the Rangers to the franchise’s first World Series championship in 2023. Stewart extended the city’s congratulations to Young and his family. 
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