Charging Stations in Fort Payne?

Charging Stations in Fort Payne?

By Marla Jones, Managing

FORT PAYNE, Ala — The Fort Payne City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on February 16, via the Zoom platform.

Mike Shirey, Fort Payne Improvement Authority (FPIA) Manager, addressed the Council regarding the installation of electric charging stations for vehicles in the City. Grant money is available through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to implement these chargers but the grant application must be submitted by the end of March.  

Guidelines to receive the grant are that drivers would have 24/7 access, in a lit area with restrooms available and within walking to restaurants. ADECA requires two spaces available for charging with excepted expansion up to more spaces.  

The specifics of the ADECA would be to have chargers in 50-mile increments across the State of Alabama. Interstate 59 falls into the Tier II plan with a charging station being within a five-mile radius of exits of 218 and 222. The vacant lot at the corner of 5th Street and Gault was discussed as a place to house the chargers. The placement at this location would increase traffic to the downtown area of Fort Payne. 

The projected costs of these two stations would be $122,000 which would include installation, transformers, and electrician support. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has agreed to donate the two chargers with FPIA to do the labor. The City of Fort Payne will supply the improvements to the lot.  The chargers will have a 5-year warranty which is to renew at an approximate price of $25,000-30,000. 

Fees for the charging station would be .31 per minute and would take between ten minutes to 1 hour to complete the charge.  The stations would work on all-electric cars with the exception of Telsa. Tesla requires a super-charging station, with most having adapters to work with other charging stations. Councilmember Lynn Brewer requested that a portion of fees to charge the vehicles would be set aside to renew the warranty, which was agreed upon. 

After discussion, the Council approved for FPIA to apply for the grant.

“This is going to be great for the downtown area” stated Fort Payne Mayor Brian Baine.

A Public Hearing was held to discuss the utilization of Amendment 772 which would assist Drinkard Development in the recruitment of Habor Freight to the DeKalb Plaza. With the increase of sales revenue to the City, a portion would go back to the Development to defray the cost. With this being the first public hearing, another one will be held at the next meeting of the Council. 

In other business, the Council:

  • Passed Ordinance 2021-04 which regulates refuse collection within the City Limits and the Police Jurisdiction.  
  • Resolution 2021-05, informing ADEM of the steps the Wastewater Treatment Plant is making to meet the requirements of their permit.  This is a yearly requirement.
  • Approved two work sessions on the first and third Wednesday of each month, times to be determined. 
  • The Council went into Executive Session for possible litigation with no action taken.

The next meeting of the Fort Payne Council will be March 2, 2021, at 12:30 p.m.

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