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Park Rapids Council gives electric vehicles a green light

The city council voted to have a dual-head charging kiosk installed at the public parking lot on 3rd Street and Pleasant Avenue.

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Planning intern Adam Herberg, at right, delivers the staff report about electrical vehicle charging stations to the Park Rapids City Council on Tuesday. Seated at left is Butch De La Hunt, president/CEO of the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, which shared the cost of Herberg's study with the city. (Robin Fish/Enterprise)

The Park Rapids City Council approved a plan Tuesday to install an electrical vehicle (EV) charging station in the downtown area.

Planning intern Adam Herberg, jointly employed by the city and the Chamber of Commerce to study the city’s readiness to provide EV charging facilities, presented the plan. He joked about being nervous, as it was the first time he has given a presentation to people who wanted to pay attention.

Herberg called EV charging “one of the next steps in becoming a more sustainable, or greener, community, while also increasing tourism (and) downtown revenue.” He reminded the council that, currently, Park Rapids sits in the middle of a void of EV charging stations in north-central Minnesota.

To install a dual-head, Level 2 charging station at one of two choices of downtown locations, Herberg estimated the costs to be between $5,410 and $6,590, with the unit itself costing up to $4,600.

Site “A,” the cheaper option, would be located at the existing electrical meter for 2nd Street Stage on 2nd St. at Main Ave. Site “B,” recommended by the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association, would require a new meter to be installed in the city parking lot on 3rd St. and Pleasant Ave.

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This will cost the city nothing, he said, thanks to grants from Minnesota Power (for the charging unit) and Enbridge Energy (for installation).

Herberg also presented bids from Hoffman Electric and Davis Electric to do the installation, with a staff recommendation to accept the lower bid from Hoffman.

Council member Tom Conway moved to approve the plan involving Site “B,” and council member Erika Randall moved to accept Hoffman Electric’s bid to do the installation for $4,250. Both motions passed unanimously.

City Planner Andrew Mack said Herberg’s internship continues until Aug. 12, as he continues to work on adding EV readiness to the city’s comprehensive plan. Herberg said he hopes to see the charging station installed before he leaves.

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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