Would be installed at new library
The Winthrop Town Council moved closer to approving a plan to install two electric vehicle charging stations at the Winthrop public library, tentatively endorsing a proposed contract with the California-based for-profit company Rivian LLC to provide the stations at no cost to the town.
Infrastructure for Level 2 charging stations was provided as part of the library site, as required under the terms of a $2 million state grant that supported construction of the recently completed library.
Earlier, the council had delayed a decision in order to determine if there were any local companies interested in providing the charging stations. The council subsequently asked the staff to review the town’s options.
At last week’s meeting, council members reviewed a staff report that recommended the Rivian proposal as the best way to proceed. Rivian would install, maintain and operate two charging stations under a renewable 10-year contract. The chargers would be accessible to anyone with the Rivian app, regardless of their EV car model.
A less desirable option, the staff reported, would be to solicit interest from other private companies to offer proposals similar to Rivian’s. The staff memo noted that “it seems extremely unlikely that a local enterprise would be able to make a workable or profitable proposal for Level 2 chargers at the library.”
A third option, according to the staff report, would be for the town to purchase chargers and then maintain them, as well as figuring out how to charge users and purchase the necessary power. “This option would require more input and monitoring by town staff,” the report said.
Council members supported the first option, and asked that a Rivian representative appear at a council meeting in the near future to discuss a few details of the proposed contract.
Rivian has similar contracts at other public facilities including state and national parks.
In other business, the council approved a $62,000 contract with the consulting firm Varela & Associates to begin updating the town’s water system plan. In a memo to the council, Public Works Director Jeff Sarvis noted that Winthrop’s water system plan has not been updated since 2011. The state Department of Health requires that the plans be revisited every six to 10 years, Sarvis said.
Without an updated plan, Sarvis said, Winthrop will be unable to provide additional water service hookups beyond the 509 provided in the 2011 plan. He said the contract with Varela would provide only the “required minimum” to develop an acceptable plan, and there will be likely be other associated costs in the future.
The council also approved a revised schedule of rates for renting chairs and tables from the Winthrop Barn; and adopted an adjustment to the town’s salary table to reflect that Sarvis will, at his request, reduce his work week from 40 to 32 hours.
And, the council set Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. for its first meeting to discuss the 2023 budget, in the Henhouse meeting room at the Winthrop Barn.