Elkton municipal lot to add electric car charging stations
— Downtown is going green with a plan to install two electric vehicle charging stations in a parking lot on West Main Street.
The parking lot between 117 and 119 W. Main St. will become the fourth location in the county to offer the service, the others being Williams Chevrolet on Route 40 and the Royal Farms in Cecilton and North East. The Elkton library is also in the process of adding electric car charging stations.
The construction on the parking lot, which began last week, includes the installation of four light poles and widening the Main Street entrance to make it two-way, among other improvements, said Jeanne Minner, town planning director. She noted that the project will add two spaces to the lot, for a total of 41 spaces.
The project will also focus on redoing the parking lot and includes milling, paving, curbing, landscaping and trenching, said Lewis George, town administrator.
“This project is intended to enhance parking opportunities and amenities in the downtown business district,” he added.
For the project, the town received a $100,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Com-
munity Development’s Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund. The project may go over budget, but Dan Handley, director of the town’s DPW, suggested the town do as much work as possible and contract out the work that cannot be done.
Minner noted that a 2014 Wilmington Area Planning Council data report on electric vehicle charging hotspots identified Elkton as an area that should have a charging station.
“I thought if we’re going to do the parking lot, it’d be great to include these electrical vehicle stations, especially since there was a report as recent as 2014 that says there’s kind of a gap here,” she said.
The town is currently looking to purchase two ChargePoint stations, which charge two vehicles per station, through Clinton Electric Co., but no purchases have been made yet. John Downs, town attorney, is looking at ChargePoint’s contract, but nothing has been finalized at the moment.
KCI Technologies, the town’s engineering firm, recommended the company, Minner added.
The cost for the two stations is just under $14,000, Minner said.
ChargePoint gives customers the option of paying with a charge card or via the mobile app, which can also identify charging locations.
The exact cost of the service to customers has not yet been determined, but there are a couple of ways the town could go about it, Minner said. The town could choose to offer the service free and pay the electric bill itself, charge enough to pay the electric bill or charge a little bit more in order to recuperate money spent on the activation fee and warranty. Minner said no decisions have been made on the cost.
In addition to this project, two bike racks funded through a grant from the state’s Department of Transportation Bikeways Program will be installed on the lot, Minner said. The racks are part of the town’s bicycle plan and these are the last two of the seven racks that needed installation, she added.
The project is slated for completion in November, Minner said.
Mayor Rob Alt anticipates the project will positively impact the downtown area.
“During our grant funding process, we felt there’s gonna be more and more electric cars,” he said. “In an effort to be green, we put two charging stations in.”
Alt said the stations will attract more people to the downtown because it will allow drivers to come the parking lot, check out the area and charge their cars at the same time.
“If you had an electric car and you were wanting to come downtown, you can plug in there,” he said.
Mary Jo Jablonski, town commissioner and executive director of the Elkton Chamber and Alliance, said she hopes the stations will bring more foot traffic to the area. When people need to charge their cars, they can do so at the parking lot, while walking around downtown, shopping or eating locally.
This municipal parking lot in downtown Elkton is undergoing a number of improvements, including the addition of two electric car charging stations.