McKellar ratepayers against paying for electric vehicle charging stations

·2 min read

Over 150 McKellar ratepayers have signed an online petition against a proposed electric vehicle charging station in the township.

The petition was started by Chris Skinner, who was unable to comment at time of publication.

Posted in multiple McKellar Facebook pages on Jan. 19, it quickly gained traction and reached its 100-signature goal.

Many ratepayers commented that they were against the potential charging station.

“Why should we have to pay for something as ridiculous as these charging stations if the majority of residents in McKellar are never going to use them?” asked Tammy DeCarle-Bier in the McKellar Free Speech Facebook page.

The Nov. 10 minutes from the McKellar council meeting state that the township “identified the installation of electric vehicle charging stations as part of its action plan” and that the community centre complex would be the ideal location.

The initial cost per charging station is estimated at $100,000, but council requested that Hydro One apply to the federal government NRCan Grant, under the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, which would provide up to 50 per cent of the total cost of the acquisition and installation of two electric vehicle charging stations.

However, David Downing, a McKellar ratepayer, said that he’d rather see a gas station in McKellar before electric vehicle charging stations.

“You cannot even buy gasoline in the township,” said Downing. “How many (electric vehicle) owners? One I think, and he is a councillor … sure, the government will match to 50 per cent but we have other needs for our $100,000.”

McKellar’s mayor, Peter Hopkins, said that the township was working on a response to the petition but had no further comment at this time.

Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star