Electric vehicle fast chargers, events and other items approved by City Council

Published 11:25 am Friday, August 11, 2023

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Star Correspondent
Members of the Elizabethton City Council approved an agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority to install fast chargers for electric vehicles.
The TVA created the electric vehicle fast charger program to develop charging infrastructure within their service territory. The program allows local power companies, such as Elizabethton Electric, to receive a program credit up to 80% of eligible costs associated with the installation of a fast charger.
New electric vehicles have the ability to have their batteries charged to 80% in as little as 30 minutes, according to Elizabethton Electric General Manager Brandon Shell.
Drivers use applications that find charging stations and show if the station is available or being used. Currently, Elizabethton is not an option, Shell said. Many electric vehicle owners must go to Johnson City or Bristol for service.
The project is estimated to cost $300,000, but 80% will be reimbursed by the TVA.
In addition to approving the TVA agreement, Council approved an agreement with Seven States Power Corporation for consulting services. Seven States will assist the city in finding a location for the charging stations, Shell said.
Council members also approved a resolution relating to the proposed issuance of bonds by the city’s Health and Educational Facilities Board.
City Manager Daniel Estes said an entity plans to purchase the 100-unit Lynnwood Apartments on Bluefield Avenue. The entity will use bonds to purchase the property, which must be approved by the city.
Mayor Curt Alexander said the city will essentially act as a “pass-thru” of the bonds and the city will not be responsible for the debt.
The Health and Welfare Board approved $15 million in bonds for the acquisition, renovation and equipping of the complex on Aug. 8.
Council also approved an ongoing contract with Pavewell Paving for city street paving projects, which includes West G Street, East C Street and Maple Street.
The Council members also approved several items on second and final reading, including a grant to create a mural in downtown Elizabethton.
City officials are currently seeking proposals from artists to create a mural on the back of 547 E. Elk Avenue, which is located at Sycamore Street. The Tennessee Arts Commission Rural Arts Project Grant allows funding up to $18,000 for arts projects and activities from all disciplines that focus on community vitality and engagement in rural counties in Tennessee.
Council members also approved an arrangement that gives a half-cent of local sales taxes for school capital projects. The city’s sales tax rate remains at 9.75%.
The Council also approved several planned events in the city, including the Covered Bridge Days, the Milligan University Homecoming Parade, West Side Elementary PTO 5K and the Covered Bridge Jams Rockin’ on the Doe Presented by Elizabethton Parks and Recreation.

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