The Winthrop Town Council has reached an agreement with private contractor Rivian LLC to install electric vehicle charging stations at the Winthrop library.
The council approved a contract with Rivian, a California-based for-profit company, to operate the charging stations for 10 years, with a $1-a-year lease rate for the town property.
The stations will be provided at no cost to the town, and will be overseen and maintained by Rivian. The contractor will arrange for electric service to the library, where conduits for the charging stations were included in the building’s construction plan.
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.
Town staff had earlier recommended approval of the agreement as the best option for proceeding. The council first took up discussion of the Rivian proposal in December 2021, but delayed a decision while exploring whether there were local vendors who were interested in providing the charging stations.
The chargers will be accessible to anyone with the Rivian app, regardless of their EV car model. Rivian has similar contracts at other public facilities including state and national parks.
Rivian representative Scott Oltmann say his company will provide a meter and pay the electric utility directly for power used. He said Rivian will share data with how the chargers are used with the town.
Oltmann said Rivian plans to have the charging stations installed by the end of this year.
Family park update
In other business, the council heard an update on plans by Winthrop Kiwanis to develop a proposed family activity park adjacent to the ball field in Winthrop.
Kiwanis sought public feedback on preliminary plans at a July open house, representative Rick Jones told the council.
Under its “Fund a Dream” program, Winthrop Kiwanis has been contemplating major improvements to the existing pump track and ball field for several years, but planning was waylaid by the pandemic.
Earlier this year, Kiwanis began reviving plans that include estimated expenditures of more than $200,000 for various projects over a four-year period. The Winthrop Town Council included $10,000 funds in the town’s 2022 budget to help advance the project. The funds were earmarked for providing water and power to the site. Construction on those improvements is now underway, as evidenced by a large trench on the site.
Kiwanis will be seeking additional development funds through the town’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, and will also be pursuing grants from the state Recreation and Conservation Office. The project is scoped out in four phases over several years.
Landscape architect Bob Birkeland, who is doing site renderings for Kiwanis, showed the council a couple of alternative, updated plans that include a skating area, pump track course, small kids’ play area, basketball court, water play area, connecting trails and pass-through gates to the ball field area, among other features. Other considerations include safe crosswalks for users to cross Highway 20.
Jones said Kiwanis will ask the community for more feedback in preparation for the upcoming grant application process. He said the updated proposal will help Kiwanis refine details and estimate costs.