Free charging station use

Houston town council keeps the electrical vehicle charging station free for public use, not expecting a lot of use in the first year.

Houston town council met last Tuesday and discussed a fee system for the use of the new charging station and decided to have free use for the time being.

“Most municipalities are not charging for the use of the stations at this point,” said CAO Linda Poznikoff at the Feb. 5 town council meeting.

Poznikoff says that, depending on the make of the vehicle, the estimated cost for a charge can range up to $2 and the district cannot charge for the electricity, but could charge a parking fee.

Councillor Rick Lundrigan said he thought users sould pay for the electricity.

“So at the end of the day, you are saying it’s going to cost a minimal amount to charge a vehicle, which we are going to either have to either eat or find some creative way to recuperate,” Lundrigan said.

Councillor Shane Brienen said he does not anticipate a lot of use of the station the first year, and motioned for council to leave the station free and then review it in a year.

Director of Engineering and Development Services Michael Glavin, in response to questions, said the District of Houston would pay electricity costs, and it comes off the pole that ties in with the solar energy.

The solar panels power the lights in the park, the irrigation system pumps and the fountain pumps, and they won’t know until May how much power is being stored, said Glavin.

Glavin says the charging station will require an access card from the station, but clarified that the District would not get money from that. They cannot charge fees for the electricity, but they could either charge an access fee or parking fee, said Glavin.

Brienen made a slight change to his previous motion not to charge for use of the station at present, adding that council would be free to review it anytime.

All the councillors were in favour except Lundrigan, who opposed the motion.