In a special meeting Thursday, July 28, Fern Valley Water District directors approved the purchase of two new diesel-powered vehicles. The board approved acquiring the trucks and authorized $150,000 for the purchase.

General Manager Victor Jimenez had made the recommendation at the board’s regular meeting on July 15. However, Director Richard Schnetzer notified the staff in an email that he objected to diesel-powered vehicles and preferred gas-powered.

Directors Trisha Clark and Charlie Wix were present at the meeting and Robert Krieger joined via telephone. Neither Schnetzer nor President James Rees were available.

“The issue, which [Schnetzer] is opposed to [diesel trucks], received considerable discussion at the [July 22] board meeting and even more at the planning committee meeting,” Krieger stated.

Wix also expressed his support of Jimenez’s report on the difference between the diesel and gas vehicles.

In his report, Jimenez acknowledged an article favoring gas vehicles, which Schnetzer had forwarded to him. However, Jimenez noted, “This article didn’t focus on aspects of our operation, which shouldn’t be overlooked. These aspects are the extensive amount of climbing that the district vehicles perform on a daily basis and the amount of weight that the district’s trucks haul…”

He concluded that the gas vehicles were more efficient and better suited for highway speeds and in a flat terrain, whereas the opposite conditions, found on the Hill, favor diesel vehicles.

After some discussion, a motion was passed 3-0 in favor.