POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – The Dutchess County Legislature’s compromise on alternative-fuel vehicles could amount to little if County Executive William Steinhaus chooses to ignore it, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal. The Legislature approved $1.6 million in borrowing last week for the purchase of 60 vehicles as replacements to older vehicles in the county’s passenger fleet. Legislators also passed a separate resolution calling for at least 21 of those new vehicles to be electric hybrids and models that run mostly on ethanol.

The bond resolution identifies broad categories of vehicles to be purchased and maximum expenses. It doesn’t incorporate itemized vehicle lists.

Steinhaus has made the environment a prominent theme of his administration in 2007, and his staff is working with a consultant to study ways of increasing the energy efficiency of the county’s entire fleet of more than 300 passenger vehicles.

The county has bought three hybrids so far with money approved last year by the Legislature. A fourth is on order. Steinhaus wouldn’t say Tuesday whether he would heed the Legislature’s new request for 21 alternative-fuel vehicles this year, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.