23 electric mower

Doug Ambrose of The Green Station shows an electric mower to Solano County Grounds Supervisor Jim Simon and groundskeepers Keith Banks and Jay Owens. (Barry Eberling/Daily Republic)

Local Business

County grounds crews going green

By From page A10 | June 23, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A riding mower and a push mower cut the grass on the sprawling Solano County lawn at Jefferson and Texas streets, yet the street traffic sounded louder.

“You have two huge mowers running right now and you don’t hear a thing,” said Doug Ambrose of the The Green Station. “You hear the bus brakes.”

The two mowers manufactured by Mean Green Mowers are electric. Ambrose came to Fairfield to show the mowers to a prospective buyer, Solano County.

This particular electric riding mower can run for about eight hours and the batteries charge overnight, Ambrose said. The batteries last about 10 years. The mower has no belts, air filters and spark plugs that need maintenance, he said.

Solano County has five gasoline-powered riding mowers and two need to be replaced, county Grounds Supervisor Jim Simon said. The county has yet to decide whether to go electric, he said.

But the county grounds operation already has a few battery-powered hedge cutters and two electric carts. In addition, it is doing such things as putting in low-volume sprinklers on county lawns.

“The county is definitely planning on going green – as much as we can,” Simon said.

This particular electric riding mower with a 60-inch cutting width costs about $22,000. Mean Green Machine on its website said that loan and operating costs would come to about $30,000 over six years, compared to $60,000 to $76,000 for a $13,000 gasoline mower.

Advantages of electric mowers and hedge trimmers include less pollution and less noise for the public, Simon said.

Whether the county decides the pluses outweigh possible minuses remains to be seen.

Do you have a Biz Buzz item? Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

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