Massena will seek funds for electric charging stations

Massena’s first electric vehicle charging station is located in the municipal parking lot behind the Massena Town Hall. Town of Massena officials want to install three more stations, at Massena Hospital, Massena International Airport and near Coach’s Corner restaurant. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — The town of Massena is hoping to install three new electric vehicle charging stations around the community, but it might take a while for any potential grant funding to come through.

“They’re accepting applications and all the deadlines are the same. They’re issuing a warning that as of now they’re not releasing any money” because of state budget issues, Business Development Corporation Executive Director James Murphy said.

“I think you’re going to see this with a lot of these kinds of programs,” he said. “I just want to temper expectations a little bit.”

“We think there may be a problem now that the state is stopping all funding for non-critical projects,” Massena Electric Department Superintendent Andrew McMahon said.

Mr. Murphy has been working with Mr. McMahon on the grant application, which is due this week. There is a 20 percent local match, but Mr. Murphy said he believes that will be covered by any work the Massena Electric Department will do to prepare the sites for the charging stations.

One vehicle charging station is currently located in the municipal parking lot behind the Massena Town Hall. The plan is to add charging stations at Massena Hospital, Massena International Airport and near Coach’s Corner restaurant on Park Avenue.

“When we started this, the hospital was owned by the town. Now that it’s not, it’s kind of complicated a little bit. We have to get some easements and things like that. It doesn’t look like it will be anything that’s problematic,” Mr. Murphy said.

He said the grant was “straightforward” and was based on a point system.

“They have to be three separate applications the way the grant is working,” he said.

The grant can be up to about $250,000 per municipality, he said.

“Because the grant program also involves hydrogen facilities and other types of charging, that’s why the range is very wide. We will not be applying for nearly that much because these stations aren’t that expensive,” Mr. Murphy said.

Massena’s first electric charging station was installed in 2017 in the municipal parking lot. The charging station was obtained through grant funding from the Department of Environmental Conservation, which Massena Electric Department officials learned about in summer 2016.

The 2016 Zero-Emission Vehicle and Infrastructure Municipal Rebate grant funding covered 80 percent of the cost, with the village and MED absorbing the remaining 20 percent through labor and base materials to support the installation.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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