Within weeks, the town of Saugerties expects to install an electric-car charging station at the Kiwanis Ice Arena. At their August 16 meeting, the town board voted to award a $7498 contract to LilyPad EV of Overland Park, Kansas for the dual-outlet charging station.
Funds for the station through a state Department of Environmental Conservation grant will pay for three-quarters of the cost of the machine, plus the cost of the electricity for two years. After the two years of free electricity for electric-car owners to charge their vehicles, councilman Fred Costello said, the machine will switch to a pay-as-you-charge system. Vehicle owners will pay for their electricity.
Vernon Benjamin, who’s in charge of special projects for the town, said that several possible sites for the charging station were considered. It was decided the ice arena, which is centrally located, draws hundreds of visitors a year to activities at the arena, and is located close enough to the HITS show area and the Cantine Field complex, was the best site.
Costello hoped that electric-car owners from other places will see Saugerties as a destination for trips and vacations. “These people have to consider where they will charge their vehicles when they go away,” Costello. “If they know we have a station, they are more likely to come here for that vacation.”
Benjamin added there were about 400 electric vehicles in Ulster County. These vehicles are becoming more popular with motorists.
“It also helps us be more green,” Costello added.
Benjamin said the dual station will be able to charge two vehicles at a time, and will provide a medium length of charge. Some more expensive machines provide a rapid charge.
People who drive vehicles with internal combustion engines don’t get free gasoline, Costello noted.
The village government recently turned down a plan to site a charging station in the village. They said it was inequitable to provide free electricity to vehicle owners who did not pay into the state’s transportation fund to improve and repair roadways, while not providing free gas to drivers whose of internal combustion cars who pay into the state fund through taxes on gasoline.
The charging station at the ice arena should be installed in the coming weeks, officials said.