For most of his 95 years, Vince Motte was one of Coalinga's most recognized individuals. His generous donations have made possible many of Coalinga's landmarks-the clock tower, the water foundation across from the high school, the sports park and a weather station at West Hills College Coalinga.
In 2009, Mr. Motte was honored during dedication ceremonies for the Vince Motte CIMIS Weather Station at West Hills College Coalinga's Farm of the Future, 9900 Cody, on the northern edge of Coalinga.
Mr. Motte had long been bothered by weather reports listing Coalinga as the hottest community in the Central Valley. He felt that those reports had been prompted by the location of weather-reporting facilities in downtown Coalinga behind the fire station. His donation to the West Hills Community College Foundation funded the new weather station that is located on three acres of grass.
The weather station is part of the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS), which is a program of the Office of Water Use Efficiency operated by the California Department of Water Resources.
The hope is that it will eventually become the official National Weather Station reporting site for Coalinga.
Mr. Motte was a member of one of the four founding families in Coalinga. His father helped found what was then known as Coalinga College. For many years his family operated a grocery store in downtown Coalinga and a visit with him often included a history lesson on the community. He spoke through first-hand experience of the oil boom that fueled Coalinga's growth, the development of agriculture in the region and the 1983 earthquake that leveled much of downtown and ended his family's grocery business. The delivery truck that Mr. Motte and his father used to deliver groceries to the oil camps now resides in the Baker Museum in downtown Coalinga.
Vince Motte passed away in 2009, shortly after he was honored by WHCC with an honorary degree and at a Vince Motte CIMIS Weather Station dedication. He will forever be remembered as "Mr. Coalinga."