Charging up

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Installation of station in Beacon Falls moves forward

BEACON FALLS — The town is one step closer to getting its new electric vehicle charging station.

CT Electric Car, a division of Newington Electric Co., visited the town last week to assess the site of the charging station, which will be in the commuter parking lot near the train station.

According to First Selectman Christopher Bielik, the company said it should be an “easy installation” thanks to an on-site transformer and a town-owned utility pole. Bielik said the town should receive a written quote from CT Electric Car this week so the majority of the site work can be complete by the time of delivery.

“It’ll be all but plug and play,” he said.

The town was awarded an $8,400 grant from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to purchase and install the station.

The grant requires the charging station to be operational by Nov. 14. Bielik said everything is on schedule to meet that deadline.

The charging station itself will cost $1,900 and the rest of the grant money will cover the installation. A California-based company, Broadband TelCom Power, will build the station and deliver it later this month.

The town will need to provide the charging station’s services to the public for free for the first three years of its existence and must also foot the electricity bill.

For Beacon Falls, that usage cost could be anywhere between $50 and $150, which Bielik said was an unplanned expense in this year’s budget. He said he didn’t anticipate financial issues, though.

“It’s almost certainly a cost we can reasonably bear out of our contingency,” Bielik said.

The charging stations closest to Beacon Falls are near Middlebury and Southington, according to the DEEP website.

7 COMMENTS

  1. The citizens of Beacon Falls should get used to this type of behavior because Mr Bielik will be our First Selectman for as long as he wishes. After seeing what the DTC does to any candidate they don’t support you’d have to be crazy to run for that office. I believe that position will go to someone very close to the DTC and the current BOS.

  2. If you like wasting money on this charging station, Have you heard the latest about who may be hired as the towns economic development coordinator?

  3. Mr. Kunz,

    ICYMI, Naugatuck’s Board of Burgesses recently rejected this grant. By majority vote, they viewed this as an inopportune time to increase spending and spend their taxpayer’s dollars on an unbudgeted item. They also recognized that the charging station will benefit a very small segment of the population. Consider this:

    • The town will be responsible for electricity costs and maintenance for three years.
    • The costs are unknown, and could hit five figures per year with heavy usage.
    • It’s money Beacon Falls doesn’t really have considering the enormous costs facing the town due to the new elementary school and sewage plant upgrades.
    • Out of town car owners may well derive more benefit from the charging station than do Beacon Falls residents.

    We understand Mr. Bielik needs an accomplishment or two for his resume half-way through his term in office, but most tapped out taxpayers will agree this decision was ill considered.

  4. Isn’t a good thing for our little town to want to get a little “ahead of the curve”?
    We need all the little boosts we can get.

  5. I thought the BOF was there to make sure these things don’t happen. It appears the currnt BOF is a rubber stamp for this First Selectman

  6. Mr First Selectman,

    If this was not planned in the current budget as an expense, it should have gone to a vote of the taxpayers. Why is it that you think you can just spend contingency funds which were put in place to handle emergencies and expenses or overages from approved projects in the budget? Projects approved by the taxpayers. You removed all the capital projects from the current budget to reduce it. I expect that no contingency funds would be used unless approved by the taxpayers! It is not your slush fund. Unused contingency funds should be returned to the taxpayers in the next budget to help offset and keep the budget flat.

  7. This is how we plan to bring new business to town? Another waste of taxpayers money. Try paving some roads.