New Castle Secures Funds to Help Pay for New Electric Car Chargers

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The Town of New Castle has secured a state grant that will pay for the majority of the cost of 10 new electric vehicle chargers at public parking lots throughout the town.

The charging stations, all considered Level 2, which enables the operator of any electric vehicle to use them, will be at five different locations throughout New Castle, said Assistant Planner Kellen Cantrell. Six of the chargers will be at the Chappaqua Metro-North train station lot along with one each at Millwood Park, Amsterdam Park, Town Hall and the Woodburn public parking lot in downtown Chappaqua, he said.

Currently, the town has six chargers, including three at the train station and one each at the Allen Place lot, Gedney Park and the Woodburn lot. The new charging station for Woodburn, which will be placed not far from the electronic message board closest to South Greeley Avenue, will replace an older model that is behind the stores.

A NYSERDA grant will pay for about two-thirds of the cost of the units, with the town picking up the remainder of the expense, Cantrell said. To help offset as much as 90 percent of the infrastructure costs, the town has applied for the Con Edison Power Ready Reimbursement, he said.

Cantrell recommended to town officials that they charge a fee for the use of the new chargers when they are installed. He said previous town boards likely offered the service for free as an incentive to have more residents buy electric vehicles.

Fees are typically by the kilowatt-hour to offset the cost of the electricity to the municipality, Cantrell said. The existing chargers have cost the town about $19,500 in electric costs in the several years since they were installed.

He suggested a 22-cent per kilowatt-hour cost, which is what some other municipalities in the area charge.

“I think it’s a good guideline to set because the rates at each site may vary depending on electricity,” Cantrell said.

Town Board members agreed that the town should try to recoup the expense of providing the electricity but to start off at a relatively modest rate.

“Given that we on the Town Board are the fiduciaries of taxpayer money, I absolutely think we need to be charging for that,” said Supervisor Lisa Katz. “Also, it will incentivize people to have a place to charge their cars.”

Councilman Chris Hildenbrand that he has looked into various rates set by other communities, which generally range in the high 20s to more than 40 cents a kilowatt-hour.

“I think 22 cents is a good starting rate,” he said.

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