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Oxford continues growing green efforts with truck

 

The city of Oxford will be making one more effort to decrease its carbon footprint by purchasing a hybrid truck.

During the Board of Aldermen meeting Aug. 19, Superintendent Lynn Robbins submitted a request to bring the city a 1-ton bucket truck.

The official request documented and granted was to apply for a reimbursement grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority and Electric Power Research Institute.

The hybrid truck would be used by the Oxford Electric Department (OED) to work on maintenance across the city and prove an example that green is the way to go, Robbins said.

“The opportunity came up so that we might apply for this grant that will allow us to both upgrade our OED equipment and do so at a minimum cost to our citizens,” he said.

According to a report by NPR, the United States accounts for about 18 percent of carbon emissions in the world, second only to China. The emissions are created by many sources, including the exhaust of motor vehicles.

The OED is planning to reduce its carbon emissions by employing the use of this hybrid low-emission bucket truck.

“First, the investment will benefit OED by having most of the investment covered by the grant, and second, it will allow OED to have an environmentally-friendly truck that will reduce carbon emissions,” Robbins said.

The cost for this modestly ambitious initiative will prove to be surprisingly low to the tax payers, thanks to the Tennessee Valley Authority grant.

“The actual cost will depend on the suppliers of the equipment after bids are made, but we expect the total cost to OED to be about $30,000 for equipment worth about $200,000,” Robbins said.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporation owned by the U.S. government and provides electricity for 9 million people in seven Southeastern states. The TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also assists state and local governments with utilities and economic development.

Robbins said Oxford has a strong commitment to green initiatives and explained those made by the OED.

“OED supports many energy efficiency programs by helping our customers find ways to save energy and use what is needed more efficiently,” he said. “We support solar energy through a TVA Generation Partner program where customers can install solar panels and sell the excess power to OED.”

Robbins also said the OED provides various ways to help all Oxford citizens who do not understand how to make a greener community.

“We have a solar demonstration trailer that has a complete solar installation to show the actual equipment and operation of a solar setup,” he said. “We have a program in the schools where students learn about energy and energy conservation.”

Katrina Hourin, assistant city planner, said the green initiative has been a focus all around the city.

“City hall has done a lot to help the city become environmentally friendly, including the Landscape Ordinance in 2007,” she said.

This mitigated restoration of trees removed by developers, requiring them to put up a bond that goes into replacing trees they remove.

“Besides that, the implementation of the transit system has definitely been geared toward promoting fewer carbon emissions by our city,” Hourin said.

The Oxford University Transit Commission is a system used by many in Oxford to get to and from work in a manner that will emit less carbon.