Marquette sets fees for electric vehicle charging station use

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Marquette's electric vehicle charging station is located in the Edgar Street city parking lot between Casey’s and the city park. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

The city of Marquette has set fees for individuals who will use the community’s new electric vehicle (EV) charging station.

 

The Marquette charging station, located in the Edgar Street city parking lot between Casey’s and the city park, was one of five installed in public spaces in Clayton County communities this year through an effort spearheaded by the Clayton County Energy District. The project aims to reverse the county’s identity as a charging station desert, attracting tourists with electric vehicles to local destinations.

 

EV users who are members of the Blink network, the company the stations were purchased from, can charge their vehicles in Marquette at 39 cents per kWh. The rate will be 49 cents per kWh for guests.

 

“We’re going by what is suggested by the Blink network. We’re making just a little bit over what it’s costing us for the electricity,” said mayor Steve Weipert. “You don’t want to charge people so much they don’t use it. I think it’s an advantage for the city to have it. [People] have to sit in town while it’s being charged.”

 

City clerk Bonnie Basemann said the charging station has already been utilized.

 

“We had somebody who stayed in Marquette and used the station only because we had an electric vehicle station,” she told the council.

 

Council members Dave Schneider and Ryan Young were also excited about the charging station’s possibilities.

 

“It’s going to be the wave of the future. It’s getting talked about more and more,” said Schneider.

 

“The draw is that they’re going to spend time in Marquette, so it helps the businesses and everybody in town,” added Young. “The nice thing is, if Guttenberg, Elkader, Strawberry Point and McGregor adopt the same thing, then it’s one price for the area. If they go higher than that, it’s an advantage to us too.”

 

City looking into new comprehensive plan

With the council’s go-ahead, Basemann is going to seek proposals for a new city comprehensive plan. She said Marquette’s plan was last updated in 2006. Once a senior housing project, which is currently in the works, is completed, nearly everything will have been checked off the list.

 

“The council wanted to wait until the 2020 Census was out so we had a better idea of what we were looking at. It will probably cost in the area of $10,000,” said Weipert. “I think it is important to get it updated for a number of reasons.”

 

“There are a lot of things Marquette needs to consider,” Basemann agreed. “Now we need to decide where we want to move forward, what do you want your downtown to look like, where do you want your trails, what about daycares. It helps guide us in our planning for the future.”

 

Schneider said the lack of daycare options in the area is one issue he hears about frequently from residents and young people. He hopes that can be addressed through the new comprehensive plan.

 

“I think it would help attract young families to our area,” he stated. “There are a lot of jobs in the area—some good paying jobs—and employers can’t fill them. We need to make sure we’re planning for our future.”

 

Housing goes hand in hand with that, added council member Elizabeth Gilman.

 

“We also need to start looking at places for people to live. Because there’s not much to choose from,” she said.

 

Weipert said part of that issue could be addressed through the town’s senior housing project. Older residents may choose to downsize, freeing up homes to younger people.

 

City hall has been in discussions with a potential developer for the project. By the next meeting, Weipert hopes there will be more information.

 

“He hopes to firm up the number of units to make the project feasible and a preliminary budget on what it might cost,” Weipert said.

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