Chester gets state grant for EV charging station Hopes to have Cobleigh site up by late summer

By Cynthia Prairie
©2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Chester is one of nine towns and organizations to be awarded a state grant to install an electric vehicle charging station.

Gov. Phil Scott announced the $400,000 in Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Grant Program awards last week.

An EV station. Photo from State of Vermont.

Town Administrative Assistant Julie Hance, who wrote the grant proposal for Chester, said on Tuesday, after returning from vacation, “It was a nice surprise to come back to. Another initiative from the Master Plan will be completed!”

The grant amount of $24,964 will almost completely pay for the $35,464 cost of installing two ChargePoint units that are capable of servicing four vehicles at once. Hance said $1,500 of the cost will be covered by site work the town does and the remaining $9,000 will come from the town’s grant fund.

The units will be installed on pavement near Cobleigh Field, where the old ice skating rink has been converted into additional parking.

The town is “shooting for this summer” to have the EV station installed, but Hance said it would likely be late summer.

She added that during the first year of the program, the town will not charge for using the station. “We intend to use this first year to gauge the usage and what the cost would be to the town,” she said.  Both units, she added, “come with the ability for us to begin charging at some point in the future.”

Vermont currently has 207 charging stations, including ones in Londonderry, Peru, Grafton, Springfield,  Ludlow, Townshend and Newfane.

Besides Chester, also awarded grant money were Highgate, Norwich and Warren, the city of Montpelier, Marlboro College, Vermont Law School, City Place in Burlington and Healthy Living Market in South Burlington. The grant money comes from funds awarded to Vermont in the Volkswagen Mitigation settlement after the company violated the Clean Air Act.

“Electric car use is taking off in Vermont,” said David Roberts, of Drive Electric Vermont, a statewide coalition of policy makers, industry leaders and citizens dedicated to promoting the use of electric transportation. “Expanding our charging network makes it easier for Vermonters and visitors to go electric.”

Over the next several years, the state expects the EVSE program to deliver $2.4 million to Vermont communities to fund EV charging stations in key areas, including work places, state designated centers, highway corridors, public park and rides, multi-unit housing and major attractions like ski areas and other tourist destinations.

Notice for a second round of grant funding will be announced by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development later this month, with applications due April 30. More information about the EVSE Grant Program is available by clicking here.

 

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 30 years. She has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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