Sagamore Hills gets two-for-one deal on snow plows

April Helms
Akron Beacon Journal
Sagamore Hills purchased two new snowplows, which were recently delivered. The 2021 vehicles will replace two older fleet vehicles.

SAGAMORE HILLS -- Sagamore Hills was able to purchase two 2021 snow plows for the price of one through a grant offered by the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Trustee Paul Schweikert said the two snow plows, which recently arrived, cost about $155,000 each, with the township paying for one, and the grant covering the cost of the second. The trustees approved the purchase of the two plows in May 2020. 

"This is a two-for-one savings for our taxpayers," Schweikert said. "We are set for the next decade."

The grant, Schweikert said, came from some of the settlement funds the EPA received from Volkswagon.

According to information from the Ohio EPA, the agency is investing $75 million over 10 years to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution. Funding is from money given to Ohio from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund. A lawsuit alleged that VW installed defeat devices on certain vehicles made between 2009 and 2016. The devices activated during emissions testing, and "made vehicles appear to be compliant with the law, when...during an on-road operation, the vehicles emitted nine to 40 times the allowable amount of nitrogen oxides." 

A settlement filed with the federal court allocated funds to states based on the number of vehicles with the illegal devices that were registered in each state. 

The Ohio EPA started the first round of grants in 2018. Eligible projects include replacement or engine repowers of the following: aging diesel trucks; school/shuttle/transit buses; ferries/tugboats; switcher locomotives; airport ground support equipment; forklifts; and cargo handling equipment in ports. 

For details on the grant, visit https://epa.ohio.gov online.

Service Director Bill Cuprak said that the trucks also could be used as dump trucks for the summer. The new vehicles will replace two of the townships's other vehicles, one of which is 20 years old and the other 23. 

"We take care of them the best we can," Cuprak said. "We are definitely happy to receive these."

Cuprak said the township officials had tried getting a grant earlier.

"We applied twice, but didn't get it initially," Cuprak said "We had initially asked for it all but we noticed that those who were getting them asked for 75-25, or 50-50. So in 2020, we asked for half, and we got it."

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com