By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — Warsaw’s Board of Public Works and Safety approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) for two future electric vehicle charging stations during a meeting Monday, April 5.
The agreement was presented by Warsaw City Planner Justin Taylor.
The city applied for the grant in October 2020 in collaboration with regional partners at the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG). The grant is funded through the Volkswagen Emissions Settlement and administered by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The grant will fund up to $18,000, or 90% of the procurement and installation costs for the two stations, with the total estimated cost for the project at $30,000. The Board accepted the grant last month.
An electric vehicle charging station, also known as an EV charging station, supplies electric energy for the recharging of plug-in electric vehicles, including electric cars, neighborhood electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer asked if locations have been specifically designated for the charging stations.
“We have some ideas we’re looking at and there are a number of factors that need to play into the exact locations … there are accessibility issues to consider and location to electrical boxes,” Taylor said. “There are factors that could sway the cost one way or the other. Primarily, we’re looking at downtown and near a park…that would help drive visitors and tourism to our downtown shops and then the park would also help with that tourism aspect.”
Taylor said one of the stipulations of the grant was that the charging stations be offered as a free amenity to the public for the first two years. After that period of time, the city could set up a fee structure for using the stations.
MACOG Senior Environmental Planner Leah Thill said it was further clarified in the agreement that this only needs to be for the first two hours of the charging period and does not need to be unlimited free use of the charging station.
“For example, if someone was to plug in all day or all night, we would encourage the city to manage use of the stations by having an idle fee where you start to charge increasingly higher fees if someone is overstaying and charging too long,” Thill said. “So that would be perfectly acceptable even within the first two years of that grant period.”
Thallemer then asked if there will be a card reader at the stations for some type of digital payment.
Thill said there will not be a credit card reader like you would see at a gas pump; however, the stations will be RFID-enabled so that payment can be made with a credit card, phone, app or a special network card.
In another matter, the Board approved a road closure request for Sept. 11 & 12 during the Old Jail Museum’s Dillinger Raid, which is being expanded to a two-day event that will include children’s events, craft shows, food vendors and a classic car show as well as the historic tours of the route Dillinger took when he was here in 1934 and tours of the Old Jail Museum.
The road closure involves North Indiana Street between Main and Center streets.
“We’re just trying to improve our presence in the community and get more people through the museum and make them more cognizant of what we have,” said Kosciusko County Historical Museum co-director Greg Steffe.
The Old Jail Museum houses thousands of historical & nostalgic items from Kosciusko County. These items are displayed on the two floors of the jail, including the cells and bullpens.
In other news:
- The Board approved contracts with Hawk Enterprises and USI Consultants for traffic signal modernization at two intersections: Center and Lake streets and Indiana and Center streets.
- The next regular meeting will be 11:15 a.m. Friday, April 16.