Rancho Santa Fe Association board approves purchase of vehicles

The Rancho Santa Fe Association board approved purchasing two new vehicles at its Dec. 4 meeting, one for use by the Covenant Design Review Committee and one new RSF Patrol car.

For the committee car, $40,000 is in the 2014-15 budget. For the $36,769 patrol car, the Association will be able to use a reimbursement from the RSF Community Services District.

The committee has a Ford van for site visits that was purchased 17 years ago. Committee members have said that it is very cramped and uncomfortable for the prolonged visits they make. They requested a vehicle with more modern safety features, such as a back-up camera. Of three passenger vans tested, the Association staff selected the Nissan NV, which was the cheapest of those examined with the best accessibility, comfort and the back-up camera.

The RSF Patrol has a fleet of seven cars and this purchase will replace a 2008 vehicle with more than 128,000 miles. Because the patrol cars do lots of idling, the actual time on the engine equates to almost double the odometer reading.

Treasurer Kim Eggleston said the finance committee questioned the need for a Ford Explorer and said that Chief Matt Wellhouser did a good job of justifying the need for a larger vehicle, because they do a fair amount of driving on the trails and the Explorer allows for greater clearance.