June 18, 2013

Electric vehicle charging stations coming to Dalton

Charles Oliver

— Dalton could soon become a stopping point for drivers of electric cars.

The City Council voted 4-0 Monday to provide space for electric charging stations on city-owned property downtown and on College Drive.

ECOtality will provide the stations for free as well as provide a rebate to cover the costs of installing the stations. The city will split the revenue for those stations equally with ECOtality.

“This came out of the alternative fuel vehicles roadshow a couple of weeks ago,” said Dalton Mayor David Pennington. “Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols told us this company is putting together a network of charging stations and asked that Dalton be part of it.

City Administrator Ty Ross said ECOtality has secured federal funding to install the charging stations. ECOTality officials could not be reached immediately Monday. Ross said that he believes they will move “as swiftly as possible” to install the stations.

There are already fueling stations in Kennesaw and a station is planned for Calhoun.

The agreement calls for five stations. There will be one fast-charging station, which can fully charge a vehicle in about 30 minutes, on College Drive at the site of the former chamber of commerce building. Two Level 2 chargers, which can charge a vehicle in four to seven hours, will be placed there also. One Level 2 charger will be placed near 118 S. Hamilton St. and another near 305 S. Depot St.

The College Drive site is located off I-75 and people driving along it could stop to top of their vehicles. Drivers can also top off their vehicles while working or shopping downtown.

According to information provided by Dalton Utilities, which will supply the electricity for the stations, a fast charge will cost $5 per session and a Level 2 charge will cost $1 per hour.

The agreement runs until the end of 2013. City Attorney Jim Bisson said it could be extended if the company’s federal funding is renewed. He said the city could get the company to transfer the charging stations to it if that funding isn’t renewed and council members see there is a demand for the stations.

Council members also voted 4-0 to approve a $174,995 contract with Felker Construction of Dalton to replace the heating and air conditioning system and other repairs at Dalton Fire Station 1. That work is part of an effort to reduce mold in that building. The council also approved a budget amendment that, among other things, switches $200,000 from the general fund to the capital fund to pay for that work.

Council members also voted 4-0 to change the city’s charter to allow the mayor to vote if two members are absent or cannot vote. Previously, the mayor could only vote in the event of a tie. But it takes three members to approve or reject a motion, so if two members were absent or had to recuse themselves the council could not act.

Council members also recognized the Dalton High School boys soccer team for its recent state championship win.