More electric vehicle charging stations could be in New Canaan’s future should the powers that be heed the recommendations of the appointed body that oversees off-street parking here.
Currently, New Canaan has just four town-owned charging stations—far fewer than “peer” municipalities such as Westport and Greenwich, according to members of the Parking Commission. Considering the rise in popularity of electric vehicles, the town has some catching up to do, officials say.
The Commission during its Nov. 7 meeting decided to include in its set of annual recommendations to the Board of Selectmen a request that additional charging stations be installed a various locations throughout town including Morse Court, Locust Avenue and the public schools.
At first, Commission Chairman Keith Richey seemed leery of including EV stations in with the set of recommendations, which is basically a budget wishlist, yet Parking Commissioner Chris Hering emphasized that this was a “low cost” request, with each charging station at about $5,000.
“They [members of the Board of Selectmen] have never done any one of our recommendations before, so let’s shoot low and maybe we’ll get just one,” Hering said during the meeting at Town Hall, as his fellow commissioners chuckled.
Richey said he “can’t believe the charging stations are only $5,000—because it’s, like, $3,000 to put one in your home.”
At one point, the Commission had decided to include Town Hall as possible location for a charging station but Parking Commissioner Pam Crum objected to that idea. She expressed concern that people who are not using town hall will use that charging station, in effect resulting in the loss of a parking space for patrons of Town Hall.
Richey asked if the group should recommend adding charging stations at the public schools.
“No,” Parking Commissioner Peter Ogilvie said flatly.
Richey asked why not.
“Because there’s no [parking] turnover [in the lots],” Ogilvie said. “And why are we giving teachers extra benefits? It’s extra compensation.”
Richey said, “It costs nothing,” adding that “almost every office in Stamford” has a charging station.
Richey said he liked the idea of including the schools as a possible location more than Town Hall.
The Parking Commission previously discussed the idea of adding more charging stations in March.