Alamo City Council Favors EV Station Grant Proposal
Electric vehicles, bids for a new City Hall, and a proposal for signage were among topics for discussion at the Alamo City Council meeting on April 17.
The Council, which met at City Hall at 6 p.m., favored a proposal by the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission to apply for the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program (CFI Program). The program is being made available through the Workforce Program for EV Charging Infrastructure for the region. After discussing the potential impact of locating an electric vehicle charging station in Alamo, the Council decided to move forward with getting in on the opportunity.
This is a new competitive grant program created by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to strategically deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling infrastructure in the places people live and work – urban and rural areas alike – in addition to along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs). CFI Program investments will make modern and sustainable infrastructure accessible to all drivers of electric, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas vehicles.
The program provides two funding categories of grants: (1) Community Charging and Fueling Grants (Community Program); and (2) Alternative Fuel Corridor Grants (Corridor Program). The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $2.5 billion over five years for this program. This offers up to $700 million from fiscal years 2022 and 2023 to strategically deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and other alternative fueling infrastructure projects in urban and rural communities in publicly accessible locations, including downtown areas and local neighborhoods, particularly in underserved and disadvantaged communities.
Alamo City Manager Jeff Floyd, who attended the HOGARC meeting outlining the grant opportunity, presented the proposal to the Council and noted that the deadline for notifying HOGARC of intent to take advantage of the opportunity is April 26. Floyd told the Council that the charging station is being wholly funded by the federal grant and will not require any funds from the City of Alamo; however, the City would need to provide a location for the station with three-phase power capabilities.
Floyd said that HOGARC is recommending that participants consider installing four charging stations: one L2 bank with the ability to charge a vehicle in 20 minutes (a $500,000 investment), and three L3 stations, (an investment of $30,000$40,000 each), which can charge a vehicle in six hours. Floyd reiterated that the City of Alamo would not be purchasing the equipment but would benefit from the proceeds of charging station fees.
Floyd advised the Council that after the City placed newspaper ads soliciting bids for construction of a new City Hall, eight or nine proposals have been received from area contractors thus far. The deadline for bid applications is May 1 at 5:30 p.m., after which the Council can meet, open the bids, and award the contract.
Newly-appointed Councilwoman Laura Brownley informed her fellow Council members of her meeting with a company which erects electronic signs. Brownley said the digital sign could be situated in front of the new City Hall on Main Street/U.S. Highway 280 to announce meetings, events, and other information. Brownley said the sign could cost between $32,000 and $35,000. The Council agreed that the proposal is a good idea that would enhance downtown Alamo, but because the bid for the new City Hall is pending and the potential monetary investment for the sign is substantial, decided that the matter be further explored and that additional quotes from other businesses be obtained.
The Council voted to hire the Statesboro CPA firm of Lanier, Deal, Proctor & Bloser, to conduct its 2022 audit. The firm estimated the audit would cost approximately $12,000$14,000 and be completed before June 30.
The Council voted to release the 2023 LMIG projects for sealed bids , due by 5 p.m. on May 15. This project consists of resurfacing a section of Stubbs Street and a section of Forest Avenue in Alamo.