Council OKs contract to install electric vehicle charging station

Published 4:16 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

By Buzz Trexler

Star Correspondent

Electric vehicle drivers seeking a fast-charging station in Carter County are one step closer to a convenient stop in Elizabethton as the City Council approved a five-year contract with EOS Linx, a Brentwood company that will pick up the balance of costs not covered by a TVA program. 

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 City Council previously approved participating in TVA’s Fast Charge TN Program, through which Elizabethton Electric would be reimbursed up to 80 percent of the costs associated with installing a fast-charging station, while the city would be responsible for the remaining 20 percent. During that August meeting, the City Council also approved a consulting agreement with Seven States Power Corp. to assist in finding an electric vehicle (EV) charger company and ensuring all the TVA program requirements are met. Seven States Power recommended EOS Linx, which owns and operates a national charging network.

 Under the five-year, $430,455 agreement — of which $344,364 is reimbursable from TVA and $86,091 is reimbursable from EOS — the city is responsible for all installation costs and services, while the company is responsible for the installation, operation, and servicing of the EV stations. The stations will be available 24 hours a day and EOS pledges to respond to any report of failure, damage, or other problem requiring repair, replacement, adjustment, or maintenance within 24 hours of notification.

 EOS will collect all EV charging revenue and provide monthly reports to the Elizabethton Electric Department on the revenue from the fast chargers. As the Fast Charge TN Network requirements mandate that neither party is permitted to receive a profit from the fast chargers, all income will be used to offset operational costs. Excess funds will be held in escrow by EOS and reinvested into the fast chargers or the premises upon which they are installed.

 EOS will own the charging stations after the five-year contract expires and agrees to operate them for at least another three years.

 

 AMONG OTHER ACTIONS

 In other actions, the City Council:

 — approved a proclamation recognizing the Elizabethton High School Betsy Band;

 — approved a proclamation recognizing Daniel French for his years of service with Keep Carter County Beautiful;

 — recognized Water Resources Director Jonathan Pleasant for being among The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia “40 Under 40,” which honored the business community’s 2023 rising stars.

 — received news from Mains that First Tennessee Development District had awarded a block grant of $630,000 to help fund improvements to Franklin Pool. “We’re blessed, we’re fortunate, that pool’s going to be a little bit warmer,” Mains said, calling it a “Christmas gift” that will bring “wonderful improvements.”

 — received a report from City Manager Daniel Estes that City Attorney Roger Day had been able to work out an acceptable solution to a previous complaint from Gary and Martha White, of 2301 Eagle Drive, regarding the curbing in front of their house. “We hope that that resolves that dispute,” Estes said. 

 — in response to a question from Councilman Jeff Treadway, heard from Police Chief Jason Shaw that there were two open positions in the department and offers have been made to candidates.  

 — passed on a second reading amending the 2023-2024 budget regarding the infield playing surface at Joe O’Brien Field. The estimated cost of the project is $458,714, which is shared in equal amounts of $152,905 by the City of Elizabethton, Boyd Sports, and the Elizabethton City Schools. The amendment was needed to account for the city’s share of the cost, which is an increase to the Parks and Recreation capital outlay expenditures and is taken from the Unassigned Fund Balance.

 — approved on second reading an amendment to the 2023-2024 General Fund regarding the Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative Grant, which requires no local funds and will be used for 10 Automated License Plate Readers for two years; upgrade the video recording system in interview rooms to the same system used for body-worn and in-car cameras; purchase a storage server for additional video evidence storage; and purchase a 3D crime scene laser scanner system. The grant amount was $150,000; however, only $63,125 had been spent as of June 30.

 — approved on second reading amending the General Fund to reflect Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library grant revenue and grant expenditures by $17,691, with no change to Fund Balance.

 — approved on second reading $2,800 Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board Grant awarded to Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library in October. The grant will be used in digitizing local church and community cookbooks and the digital copies will be added to the library’s growing online archive. The grant amount exceeded what was budgeted for 2023-2024 and the library requested a budget amendment to cover the difference.

 — approved increasing expenditures with Mattern and Craig Inc. in the amount of $5,000 to continue making monthly measurements over the next year to determine if any notable structural deviations of the Covered Bridge have occurred. The measurements have been recorded monthly since September 2020. No significant changes have been reported since the initial movement was identified. The city had previously authorized $25,000 and the increase brings the total costs to $30,000.

 — approved an Elizabethton Police Department agreement to trade 50 used Glock Model 22 Gen 4 .40-caliber pistols, six Glock Model 27 Gen 4 .40-caliber pistols, and one Glock Model 23 .40-caliber pistols to H&S Hunting of Elizabethton in exchange for 39,550 rounds of ammunition. As part of the agreement, officers who carried one of the weapons in service would be allowed to purchase it for $250 plus the sales tax, background check fee, and dealer fee, but must do so within two weeks of the time the dealer takes possession of the handguns.

 — approved an additional $15,000 for hourly services provided by Mattern and Craig Inc., an engineering firm that provides services to Elizabethton Water Resources, thus totaling $105,000 for water resources-related engineering services since August 2021. Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation requires engineering drawings before the city can undertake water and sewer line repairs and replacements. 

 — approved amending a contract between Cain, Rash, West Architects and the city regarding work performed at the Bonnie Kate Theater under an Appalachian Regional Commission grant.

 — awarded a $1.2 million contract to Haren Construction Company Inc. to relocate two main water transmission lines out of the bed of Doe River in the Valley Forge Community. These lines serve as the primary means of transporting water from both the Hampton and Valley Forge water treatment plants.

approved a change in the General Fund to reflect that this year’s Shop With a Cop event raised $1,300 more than projected.

 Action on a grant and expenditures related to improving the emergency communications system was deferred.

 

APPROVED APPOINTMENTS

 The City Council members approved the following appointments:

 — William “Bill” Taylor, Robert E. Reedy, Perry Hyder, David Proffitt, Robert “Bob” Saidla, Steve Tipton, and Richard Hale to five-year terms on the Building Codes Board of Appeals; 

 — Wes Frazier, council representative, to a one-year term and Bill Taylor to a five-year term on the Planning Commission;

 — Michael A. “Mike” Simerly, council representative, to a one-year term on the Board of Education; 

 — Curt Alexander, council representative, to a one-year term on the Watauga River Regional Water Authority Board; and

 — Wes Frazier, council representative, to a one-year term and Bill Taylor, mayor’s designee, to a five-year term on the Zoning Appeals Board.