Electric car drivers will have to wait a little longer to recharge at city hall. On Oct. 25, commissioners delayed a decision on allowing the installation of an electric car charging station in the city hall parking lot.
The company installing the station, EVgo, wants a guarantee of five years to ensure it recoups its $40,000 investment. If installed, it would be a high voltage, fast charging station that could give 50 miles of charge in 15 minutes.
But commissioners are worried that if they get a firm to enter into a public/private partnership, to develop the city hall parking lot, the charging station could complicate the deal. Mayor Gary Resnick said the relocation clause of the agreement with EVgo was not strong enough and left the city liable for relocation costs if the charging station needed to be moved.
“We don’t want to be hamstrung,” Resnick said.
Jules Toraya, a representative for EVgo, said his company would be open to a program that would reduce the cost of relocation the further into the contract the removal takes place.
Commissioner Tom Green, who pointed to other cities that already have public charging stations, said he was glad Wilton Manors is finally catching up. “We’re certainly not on the forefront.”
He added that he was disappointed the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization [MPO] didn’t go through with its plan to install charging meters at city hall but he was still hopeful they would do so at Mickel Park.
The city will also work out whether or not drivers who use the space will have to pay the parking meter fees. Toraya said the company’s other stations don’t charge for parking because the additional cost makes the option less attractive to consumers.
City staff estimated the spot generates about $500 per year. “500? Oh, my god,” said Green sarcastically. Green said he didn’t want to push EVgo away by being too demanding.