Rivian Truck And SUV Acquisition Is Narowly Approved By The Normal Council.

The Normal Town Council narrowly approved adding two Rivian electric vehicles to the town’s fleet on Monday night, but not before debating the issue for an hour.One council member who supported the 4-3 decision was Karyn Smith. “As the only location of where these cars are built, having an example of their truck and the SUV is something that I think would represent the town well,” she said.Stan Nord, Scott Preston, and Kathleen Lorenz cast no votes in favor of purchasing the R1S sport utility vehicle and the R1T pickup truck.

The council also authorized the acquisition of some water treatment tools and chemicals, as well as a new playground set for East Detention Park, at the Uptown Station meeting.Vehicles from Rivian to join town fleetThe two Rivian vehicles represent less than one-tenth of one percent of the town’s $161 million yearly budget, yet the council debated whether to accept the purchase for nearly an hour during the 75-minute meeting.The Rivian truck should join Normal’s fleet this fall, while the SUV should arrive sometime in 2019. As stated by Mayor Chris Koos, both are standard models without any additions.According to council member Kevin McCarthy, who voted “yes,” spending less than $200,000 for the two Rivian vehicles is a meager expression of goodwill in light of the electric automaker’s significant economic influence on the community.The automaker relocated to Normal and started producing there a year ago.

It has been gathering pace ever since.“I believe everyone is very aware of the attention they’re getting on a national and international level — what they’ve done in terms of substantial, great local economic impact,” he said, adding that the total financial imprint must be close to $1 billion.Normal has long referred to itself as a “EV town,” so it makes reasonable that electric vehicles would be included in the fleet, according to council member Chemberly Harris. She claimed that considering electric vehicle manufacturers outside of town would not sit well with her given Rivian’s commitment in Normal.Nord, one of the three who were opposed to the purchase, vehemently disagreed, saying that it was a case of want versus need.Despite their support for Rivian, Lorenz and Preston expressed their worries about the town’s proposal’s lack of openness. Lorenz complained that the problem “had been teed up,” noting that staff hadn’t even set a budget limit for the idea.The town’s equipment fund has already been budgeted with about $150,000. When the vehicles are prepared, the vote from Monday permits the purchase.According to Normal City Manager Pam Reece, when Mitsubishi Motors owned the plant, the town fleet contained roughly 40 vehicles made there.Smith pointed out that having a Rivian truck and SUV on hand would enable town employees to carpool on official business trips, reducing gas use and mileage reimbursement. She claimed that by keeping the cars in good condition, the community can also monitor how effective electric vehicles are.$1 million to enhance water treatmentThe council also gave its approval to spending $1 million on water-related issues.For the majority of water treatment chemicals, the council approved yearly contracts. The town anticipates spending around $850,000 overall on the chemicals, which is a 20% increase from the prior year.The town did not receive any bids for carbon dioxide and rejected bids for chlorine. However, the forecasted rise takes into account the anticipated price of those extra chemicals.Separately, the council gave Utility Service Co. a $137,000 contract to replace the mixers on three of its four high storage tanks. According to Normal Public Works Director John Burkhart, the fourth is newer and hasn’t had the same issues. The requirement for formal bids was dropped.In other action, the council agreed to spend nearly $54,000 on an East Detention Park surface renovation and a GameTime sensory dome.In other action, the council agreed to spend nearly $54,000 on an East Detention Park surface renovation and a GameTime sensory dome.The playground with an emphasis on accessibility ought to be ready for the coming summer. The park is located off Linden Street on Park Drag Lane. The official bid procedure was omitted.

Akwo Stanislus
A passionate writer in Automobiles especially in the domain of EVs.

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