Letters: Park City Councilor says purchase of electric buses was wise
November 21, 2018
Small town, huge difference
Eric Brown recently wrote a letter to the editor questioning Park City's wisdom of buying electric buses and then powering them with energy generated by coal-fired power plants. I have heard this concern before, and because Net-Zero is one of Park City's critical priorities, I wanted to explain.
City Council recently approved replacing seven diesel buses that are reaching their end of life. Because we are buying electric buses and our transit department is superb at navigating renewable energy grants, Park City is only paying $1 million and the other $4 million in cost is being covered by the Federal Transit Administration and UDOT. We will continue to save money because the electric buses are cheaper to run and easier to maintain than their diesel counterparts.
Even if these buses were powered from coal plants, they would still result in a dramatic reduction in local air pollution and noise (for both riders and neighborhoods). However, in 2017 Park City Municipal was already getting 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, utilizing Rocky Mountain Power's Blue Sky program. But the news gets better. Construction of a new, large-scale renewable electricity facility is tentatively scheduled to start in late 2019 or early 2020. When completed, this will provide Park City Municipal with 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including powering its bus fleet. We are actively working with Rocky Mountain Power, as well as Summit County, Salt Lake City, and Moab, to draft legislation for the 2019 legislative year to allow Utah communities to source all of their electricity from renewables.
The buses we are buying now are significantly cheaper, quieter and cleaner. Our electric fleet, over the projected 12-year life of a bus, will be driven almost entirely by clean, renewable energy. Our hope is that over time Park City can also find reasonable electric versions of everything from golf course mowers to snow plows. Park City has an incredible opportunity to be a small town making a huge difference, all while saving money.
Park City Council
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A failed analysis
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Blown away by performance
It was early on Saturday afternoon. It was cold and cloudy. What to do? I heard a promo for Park City High School's "Mamma Mia!" I haven't been to a high school musical in probably 60 years. I said to my wife, "Let's go check it out."
Wow! We were absolutely blown away. This is one of the most enjoyable afternoons we've spent in Park City. The talent and energy were simply amazing. Congratulations to the entire cast and staff for staging such a professional and memorable performance. I can assure you we will not let another 60 years pass between performances.
Support was tremendous
On Thursday evening, Nov. 1, Park City High School hosted the Second Annual Día de los Muertos celebration. During the two months of planning, I reached out to many Parkites and local businesses. I have to say that the PC community responded beyond my wildest expectations and the event was a tremendous success. About 300 Miner students, staff and family members attended this wonderful cultural event promoting diversity and inclusion. I am overwhelmed by the spirit of community in this small town. Without your generous donations and unwavering support, this event would not have been so incredible. Notwithstanding the tremendous support from the Park City High School, its teachers, staff, students and family members, many local businesses also donated resources for the event. Due to space limitations, I am unable to mention all 59 family and 12 business sponsors/donors, but suffice it to say, if you eat Mexican food, buy Mexican groceries, or shop at a local supermarket, you are most likely patronizing establishments that support our community.
Thank you all to all the sponsors, private and corporate, for supporting Día de los Muertos at the Park City High School.
It really is a blessing to live in this caring community.
Dirk Christiaan Gootjes
Park City High School community outreach coordinator
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