Jasper to have electric vehicle charging stations


JASPER — Electric vehicle charging stations will be available in Jasper beginning as early as this week.

Funded by a grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, the two stations  which can each charge two vehicles at once  are located at the River Centre and in the parking lot next to the Jasper Post Office.

The Jasper Common Council approved the rates and charges for the stations at a Wednesday meeting.

IDEM was able to facilitate the grant with money the state received from a settlement with Volkswagen a few years ago after the company cheated on emissions tests. Each station was $9,000 each to install, said Bud Hauersperger, Jasper’s general manager of utilities.

The main intent of the stations is to provide out-of-town visitors with electric vehicles a place to recharge. Electric vehicle owners typically have charging stations at home, so the public stations will likely not be used much by locals, Hauersperger said.

Electric vehicle owners can download an app called ChargePoint to locate charging stations across the country.

“It seems like it’s pretty user-friendly, so anybody driving down Interstate 64 that needs to get a charge can stop in Jasper while they’re doing business, eating lunch, shopping or whatever,” Hauersperger said.

The app will show users how long their vehicle has been at the station and how long it’ll be until their vehicle is fully charged. Each vehicle can use a station for up to four hours before being charged with a camping fee.

“The fear there was that somebody could come in and then never move their vehicle, and then no one else could access it," Mayor Dean Vonderheide said at the council meeting. "So the camping fee is somewhat of a penalty."

As of Thursday afternoon, the stations were nearly ready for the public besides some signage and customer interface features that needed to be completed, Hauersperger said.

As of now, it’s too early to tell how popular the stations will be, he said. But any revenue generated from the stations will go back to a fund that can be used to build more stations in the future, if that’s what the city wants. One future location city leaders have discussed is the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center.

“Once we get started, we’ll just see how things progress,” Hauersperger said, “but I do like the idea of the cultural center. We’ll just have to wait and see what the city needs.”

The council also:

• Approved an ordinance appropriating additional money for the City of Jasper for the remainder of the fiscal year.

• Approved an ordinance annexing subdivision Brookstone VII into the corporate limits of the City of Jasper.

• Approved an ordinance governing public streets and sidewalks. This ordinance states that the city needs contractors to come before the Board of Public Works before closing off any streets or sidewalks for any construction purposes, except in some emergency situations. “We aren’t changing anything that we’re doing currently,” City Attorney Renee Kabrick said. “We’re just putting it in writing.”

• Approved an ordinance establishing a fund for receiving and returning rental deposits for city facilities.

• Approved a resolution regarding the transfer of the Heidorn property from the city. The city had previously planned to transfer the property to another entity but has changed plans so that now the Dubois County Community Foundation will be the owner of the property and Dove Recovery House for Women will operate the program.

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