Loveland Council OKs Lightning Hybrids city bus upgrades

LOVELAND – City Council approved a proposal for Lightning Hybrids to fit two city of Loveland buses with more fuel efficient hydraulic hybrid powertrain systems.

Councilors approved the deal Tuesday for as part of an agreement for the company to repay money it owes the city after the company fell short on promised job creation.

The Loveland company, as part of a city incentive program, had promised to create 25 jobs for a $50,000 cash payment in July 2009, according to city documents. The city agreed to pay Lightning Hybrids another $50,000 once the company had created an additional 25 jobs.

The company was given two years to create and maintain the jobs to receive the second payment. However, the city learned that Lightning Hybrids had created 11 jobs by July 2011.

The terms of incentive package now require Lightning Hybrids to repay the city $28,000, as the company had agreed to reimburse the city $2,000 for each job it fell short on creating.

The proposal approved Tuesday night authorizes the city to spend $24,000 from a federal grant to fund a portion of the price tag of the systems, which cost a total of $52,000. Lightning Hybrids, for its part, will retrofit the buses to settle up the difference.

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