Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
An electric vehicle sits plugged into a charging station Tuesday in the parking lot of the civic center in downtown Loveland. Larimer County is seeking a grant to add a charging station to its new Loveland campus that is under construction at First Street and Denver Avenue. (Jenny Sparks / Loveland Reporter-Herald)
Larimer County is applying for a grant to put an electric vehicle charging station at the Larimer County Loveland Campus — the first such charging station at a county facility.
The charging port will be in the main parking lot, primarily for use by residents doing business at the Larimer County offices in Loveland, explained David Bragg, project manager with the Larimer County facilities department. It will allow customers to plug in while visiting human services, vehicle registration and other departments housed within the new building.
“You’re going to plug in and keep that charge going,” said Bragg. “Most of our visitors are there 15 minutes to an hour.”
Installing the station in the county building, which is currently under construction, will cost $22,000. The grant the county hopes to obtain is for $9,000 from the Colorado Energy Office, and the county would pay the remaining $13,000 out of contingency money set aside for the new county facility but not used.
“Are these growing in popularity?” asked Commissioner Steve Johnson, who along with the other two elected commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the grant application. “Do you see electric car markets increasing or do you think it’s a passing fad?”
Bragg and Jennifer Johnson, county facilities planning and real estate manager, assured the commissioners that the use and demand for electric vehicles is growing.
“In 2008, there were like five (electric cars) on the market,” Johnson said. “Now there’s like 50 some.”
In fact, one of the reasons this grant application might be attractive to the state officials who will award the money in July is that Northern Colorado has fewer stations than other areas of the state including the Denver and Boulder areas, where charging stations are prevalent, Bragg explained.
The commissioners asked if the charging station, which will accommodate two vehicles, would increase the county’s electricity costs, but Bragg explained that the county will recoup those costs by charging for the use of the station.
“The city of Fort Collins charges $2 an hour, and they do get used,” said Johnson.
The bulk of construction on the new county building, at First Street and Denver Avenue, is completed and within budget, and the county has been ordering furnishings, which are coming in under what was planned to be spent, according to Johnson. So, the county has $13,000 within that budget to cover the costs and hopes to install the station before the new offices open this fall.
Pamela Johnson: 970-699-5405, email@example.com