Please be advised that construction crews are scheduled to be at work on site (423 Davies Ave on Main Street) weather permitting, on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 to complete the sidewalk construction to the standards agreed to initially by the Village – namely, a sidewalk to accommodate all modes of sidewalk transport behind the station.
Background | Council Mandate
- In January of 2016, Council of the Village of Salmo adopted the Strategic Energy & Emissions Plan after two days of consultation through a community workshop, which commits the Village to enable the transition to low carbon and electric vehicle fueling/charging stations.
- This goal was also included in Council’s 2015-2019 Strategic Directions
- Council’s 2016 Annual Report specifically refers to the 2017 Plan to install a fast charging EV station.
- CAO’s October 2017 Report to Council speaks to the Accelerate Kootenays initiative and upcoming installations.
- June 2016, Council received an 11 page report from the Community Energy Association explaining the Accelerate Kootenay Electric Vehicle Charging Station Infrastructure Strategy.
Salmo’s New Fast Charger
This widely publicized Accelerate Kootenays project is funded through federal, provincial, regional and utility company grants and prioritizes placement of the station on highly visible public lands that draw people to the downtown core, encourage tourism and economic development and support EV ownership.
This $90,000+ piece of infrastructure for Salmo is paid for by multiple granting agencies and maintained by Fortis BC (and not Salmo taxpayers) and is part of a region-wide transportation infrastructure strategy.
As a grant recipient, municipalities must comply with the specific grant requirements. In this case, it had to be on public land, in an area of high visibility and one that encourages tourism and exploration, in addition to any logistical and budgetary considerations the granting agency had.
These granting requirements left only two options:
- KP Park – rejected due to less visibility, reduced likelihood of opportunity to welcome and help direct visitors and lack of infrastructure in the area to support the installation (paved, cement, etc.), not in conformity with current park planning, etc.
- Village office – chosen because of high visibility, higher traffic, well lit, secure, and since Salmo doesn’t have a Visitors Centre, the Village office can provide an easy starting point for a visitor looking for ways to enjoy Salmo.
The Village requested the granting agency consider the other side of the Village office where the other universal EV chargers are located. The granting agency was not able to support this request due to logistic and budgetary limitations.
Fortis BC pays for the charge until the BC Utility Commission develops a rate structure, which will be paid for by electric vehicle users.
The public is reminded that civic services or infrastructure in Salmo over and above the delivery of core water and sewer services are made possible by grants. That includes the highway banners, KP Park playground, Village Art Garden, Village Art Windows, 6th Street Pedestrian Bridge, major infrastructure upgrades, cemetery upgrades, development of infrastructure master plans, and the list goes on.
Grants have very specific requirements. In this case, the EV Fast Charger station is part of a regional plan that prioritizes public lands, requires placement in an area of high visibility that promotes tourism. Council and the Village of Salmo have met these requirements.