The City of Myrtle Creek is getting two charging stations; one at Creekside Park and the other at Good Dog Bakery.
City Administrator Sean Negherbon said electric vehicles have been able to charge in the RV park, but it wasn’t a proper substitute for a charging station.
“As the number of electric vehicles on the road grows a public charging station is now a necessity of any city,” Negherbon said in an email. “We saw that there is a blank spot on the map between charging stations in Roseburg and Canyonville that needed filled … It is key to our business community that we can get travelers off of the freeway to supplement the business from our citizens, so having that blue charging station sign on the freeway is another way to get people to pull off and see what a wonderful town we have.”
He applied for a matching grant from Pacific Power last year, but said he didn’t understand the electric vehicle charging situation and was not able to put together a feasible application. He reached out to Diana Larson who is on the board for the city’s planning commission.
“I know that the city of Myrtle Creek has been very forward thinking, and I appreciate that,” Larson said. “We leased a leaf for three years and the availability to charge that were difficult to find. The number of electric vehicles being sold is increasing exponentially, daily.”
Larson and her husband drive electric vehicles and are sold on the concept as the way of the future.
“As more and more people see the electric vehicle as a viable alternative to fossil fuel vehicles, it’s also affordable and practically maintenance free,” Larson said. “As you have those charging stations visible for people to see, they’ll feel more comfortable making the switch.”
She said the charging stations will be free to visitors who can take a short walk to local business. She said the tentative plan is to use it as advertising because the cost of electricity is “pennies.”
Jerrie Thomas just finished putting in a charging station at her shop, Good Dog Bakery. She applied for the grant from Pacific Power but the matching price tag of $15,000 was too much, so she put in a cheaper, single station.
“The first one in Myrtle Creek, yay!” Thomas said. “I did that so I could draw more people to the bakery — it’s a financial thing you know. I had a nice blank area though, so the perfect spot for one.”
She said it cost about $1,500 and the work was finished a week ago.
“I’m always looking forward and I thought there was no charging station between Roseburg and Canyonville, so I thought it was real important that we start adding them so people with electric cars will have the opportunity to travel a little bit further.”
Negherbon said he expects the charging station to be delivered by mid-September and commissioned by the end of October.