by Dan McClelland
The village's three new electric car-charging stations are now in operation, Electric Department Superintendent Marc Staves relayed in a report to the village board last month.
The village was able to secure the hardware for the stations through a state grant and Mr. Staves' crew members installed them- two in the municipal park and one at the Wild Center.
The first one to go live was at the natural history museum on Friday, September 14- a day before it hosted a national electric car conference.
Mr. Staves said the new charger came in handy for one participant who drove his electric car to the Wild Center to the event, not knowing there was a unit there. He was able to charge up his ride with it.
Mayor Paul Maroun said there have been some requests for a charging station in the uptown business district and Mr. Staves is currently exploring that possibility. One possible site might be new village parking lot across from the village office, he thought.
Right now there are seven public and private charging stations in the community, it was noted.
“There's no excuse for people not to come to Tupper Lake to charge their cars,” said the electric department chief. He said Tupper Lake now has more charging units than any other community in the Adirondacks.
Mr. Staves thanked the Robert Merrill family for the loan of its electric car to test out the three new units his department installed.
He said one of the requirements of the grant program is that all units have to be load-tested on a vehicle, so the Merrills loan of their car saved money for the village, which would otherwise would have had to rent an electric car.
He said right now each station here is in what he called “a free vend mode,” so users can charge their cars for free. The benefit of having chargers in a community is that owners of those types of cars plan their travel paths around them. Mr. Staves said he feels the village should soon establish a fee structure and he said he will be discussing that with officials from the New York Power Authority at a meeting with them that month.
Trustee Clint Hollingsworth suggested placing concrete bollards in front of the units to protect them from collisions and plowing and Mr. Staves said he had been thinking about the need for them.
In other news in his department, he said that evening the tree-trimming project underway at Moody by a private contractor was about half completed. “The guys did a tremendous job and very much opened up the (transmission) line right of way for us.”
Trustees Clint Hollingsworth and Ron LaScala said they had both walked portions of the right of way along Route 30 where the crews were cutting and applauded the work. “They did a real, clean job!” was how Mr. LaScala described the workmanship by the contractor.
He said he had never realized how overgrown the line easement area had become.
The board that evening also approved the resignation of electric line helper Kaine Favro, who returned to his native South Dakota.
Asked by Trustee LaScala why the relatively new member of the electric crew left, Mr. Staves said he just wanted to return to his former employee closer to home.
He also reported that Verizon recently accepted the village's proposal to hang its lines on village utility poles. The telecommunications company will pay the village $16,000 each year for that privilege.