Elk­ton mu­nic­i­pal lot to add elec­tric car charg­ing sta­tions

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By BRI­ANNA SHEA


— 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.

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