GARDINER – A state DEC-funded electric vehicle charging station has opened at the Gardiner Public Library. Local residents and officials believe the station will help boost local business, in addition to being aligned with Ulster County’s carbon emissions goals.
Senator Jen Metzger (D, Rosendale) said during an unveiling ceremony on Thursday that zip code data collected by EV stations indicates that many users are not from that area.
In some cases she added, EV owners will go out of their way to use a certain station in an area that has activities they can do while they wait for their vehicle to charge, making an EV station a strategic economic investment for a municipality.
“There is no question that we are seeing more and more people driving electric vehicles on the road. They’re interested in finding opportunities to charge and go to a local restaurant, or go to a local theatre,” said Metzger. “Having these facilities close to your town’s amenities is really great for local business,” she said.
Marbletown resident Iris Marie Bloom of Protect Our Waters, an EV owner, agreed with the economic benefit the stations create for small towns. She said although she loves the Gardiner area, it was very inconvenient to travel there as an EV user before and made experiencing what the town has to offer difficult compared to other areas in the county.
“There has been good charging in New Paltz and Rosendale and Stone Ridge, Marbletown and Kingston; but, I love to come to Gardiner and it was so frustrating to come to Gardiner to use the library, or go to Brauhaus, or go to other places and hike but not be able to charge,” said Bloom.
It seems as though local businesses agree as well because they will be footing the bill for the electric usage from the station. The DEC grant mandates that for the first two years of having the station, it must be free to users. The grant fully funded the approximately $7,000 station and after the two-year period of being funded by the local business community, a charging fee will be established based on the data gathered over those two years.
The eventual fee will be created so that the station is self-funding. It will never present an expense to the town, but it will also not garner additional revenue.