By Lisa Young

Staff writer

If all goes as planned the Town of Hotchkiss will join the modern era with an electric vehicle charging station to be placed at the museum.

Kim Shay, chamber of commerce, gave a brief overview of the upcoming project during the last town council meeting.

“They’re calling Hotchkiss or the North Fork Valley and EV (electric vehicle) desert and they really, really, really want to give us 80% and they’ll even go higher if I can just get a place to put this,” she said.

Shay, referring to parties who want the town to apply for a Charge Ahead Colorado grant, believes an EV charging station will benefit the town’s economy.

“If the range on an electric vehicle is 200 miles and an electric vehicle trying to go to Gunnison or Carbondale, I mean we’re right there at the “y” and those people will stop, shop and drop money in Hotchkiss while they’re waiting for the vehicle to charge,” Shay told council members.

Charge Ahead Colorado began in 2013 with the purpose of improving air quality by encouraging the use of electric vehicles. The program is part of the Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan 2020. CAC is administered by the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) has three application rounds per year in January, May and October.

The Hotchkiss station to be located at the museum will be a fast charge medium range two car charging site. Shay said she hopes to get a sign on Bridge Street for the station where visitors to Hotchkiss will be able to use a cell phone app linked to the station for payment in lieu of a credit card.

“It would be nice if the town could come up with a letter of support. We’re not asking for any money. We’ve got it funded with in-kind and a variety of other sources, I just need the official go ahead from the ladies at the museum. I do have a plan B if the museum will not work but we will have a solar charging system in Hotchkiss,” said Shay adding, that Atlasta Solar will be helping her with the grant application due Oct. 15.

When asked about the additional 20% match on the grant, Shay said most of it would be in-kind. She said Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) offered to install the power grid, the chamber would kick in up to $1,000 if needed and she would donate equipment for construction work.

In a follow up conversation, Shay said the museum will definitely be the location for the new charging station after meeting with museum officials for their approval. The town council is expected to write a letter of support for the project at the next town meeting on Oct. 8.

There are currently two EV charging stations in Delta County located in Delta at 111 W. Third St. and in Paonia at 236 Main Ave.

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