Elk­ton board ap­proves agree­ment for elec­tric car charg­ing sta­tions

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

The town board of com­mis­sion­ers unan­i­mously ap­proved an agree­ment Wed­nes­day night with a com­pany to in­stall two charg­ing sta­tions in a down­town park­ing lot.

The agree­ment with ChargePoint in­cludes the use and ac­ti­va­tion of the sta­tions as well as billing terms, among other items, said Jeanne Min­ner, direc­tor of plan­ning.

The park­ing lot at 117 and 119 W. Main St. is on its way to be­com­ing the fifth lo­ca­tion in the county to of­fer elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing sta­tions, the oth­ers be­ing Williams Chevro­let on Route 40, the Royal Farms stores in Ce­cil­ton and North East and the Fly­ing J. The Elk­ton li­brary is also in the process of adding charg­ing sta­tions.

Elk­ton re­ceived a $100,000 grant from the Mary­land Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment’s

ELK­TON—

Strate­gic De­mo­li­tion and Smart Growth Im­pact Fund to redo the park­ing lot. As part of the agree­ment, two ChargePoint elec­tri­cal ve­hi­cle sta­tions, which can charge two cars per sta­tion, will be in­stalled. Other im­prove­ments to the park­ing lot in­clude land­scap­ing and mak­ing the Main Street en­trance two-way.

Both John Downs, town at­tor­ney, and Lewis Ge­orge, town ad­min­is­tra­tor, rec­om­mended ap­proval of the con­tract.

The ChargePoint prod­uct was rec­om­mended by the town’s en­gi­neer­ing firm, KCI Tech­nolo­gies, Min­ner said. ChargePoint has more than 30,000 sta­tions across the United States, she noted.

Min­ner also men­tioned a 2014 Wilm­ing­ton Area Plan­ning Coun­cil data report on elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing hotspots, which iden­ti­fied Elk­ton as an area that should have a charg­ing sta­tion.

The com­mis­sion­ers had sev­eral ques­tions about the elec­tric ve­hi­cle sta­tions.

Mayor Rob Alt ques­tioned how peo­ple can pay when they use the sta­tion. Min­ner said peo­ple can pay with a charge card or through an app, which can also show peo­ple the lo­ca­tion of charg­ing sta­tions.

“We’ll set up an ad­min­is­tra­tive ac­count,” she ex­plained. “The town can choose to ei­ther not charge for the elec­tric­ity or we can charge and re­ceive back the cost for the elec­tric­ity or we can make a small profit on it, if we want to.”

She noted that if the town chooses to re­ceive fund­ing back, the town re­ceives 90 per­cent and the com­pany re­ceives 10 per­cent for ad­min­is­tra­tive fees. The cur­rent elec­tric cost is 11 cents per kilo­watt per hour, but the town could charge 15 to 20 cents, Min­ner said.

Min­ner said most trav­el­ers use the sta­tion for about an hour to top off their cars but noted it could take a cou­ple of hours to fully charge a ve­hi­cle. While the ve­hi­cle is charg­ing, they can look around the down­town area, she added.

Alt asked how it would work if peo­ple kept their cars at the sta­tion all night. Min­ner sug­gested that the Elk­ton Po­lice Depart­ment could mon­i­tor the site and make sure the sta­tions are ac­tively be­ing used and that a gaso­line-pow­ered ve­hi­cle is not parked in one of the spots.

Com­mis­sioner Earl Piner said there should be a dis­cus­sion about who will mon­i­tor the site be­fore as­sum­ing the po­lice depart­ment will do so. He added that me­ters should be added to the sta­tions to make sure that peo­ple are us­ing the time they have pur­chased and are not tak­ing ad­van­tage of the charg­ing spot.

Min­ner said the charg­ing sta­tions will be in­stalled at the end of the park­ing lot con­struc­tion and then the town’s ac­count with ChargePoint will be set up.

The project is slated to fin­ish by the end of this month, Min­ner said.

In ad­di­tion to the lot project, two bike racks, funded through a grant from the state’s Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion Bike­ways Pro­gram, are also sched­uled for in­stal­la­tion on the lot.

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