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Falls City looks at charging station

FALLS CITY -- Falls City may be in the first wave, at least in Polk County, in the electric car movement if a proposal brought by a citizen comes to fruition.

September 18, 2012

FALLS CITY -- Falls City may be in the first wave, at least in Polk County, in the electric car movement if a proposal brought by a citizen comes to fruition.

Resident Mike McConnell approached the City Council at its meeting Thursday about researching an opportunity to have an electric car charging station installed at City Hall for free.

"In the interest in possibly promoting tourism, I looked into an EV (electric vehicle) station and called around and found that if we hop on it before the end of the month, there are still incentives out there to have it installed for (free)," McConnell said.

He said, according to his research, very few electric cars have been sold in Oregon, but getting in front of the curve could work in the city's favor in the long run.

"It would be a big benefit in putting us on the map in a couple of ways," McConnell said. "There's not really a lot of EV stations around."

He said the only charging station in Polk County outside of West Salem is at Eola Hills Wine Cellars in Rickreall.

City Administrator Amber Mathiesen said having a charging station installed is relatively easy and wouldn't require city funding with incentives.

"Putting a station in your city gives you the benefit of being not only on the map of places to charge your vehicle, but they also do some tourism promotion through the state of Oregon on places you can go," she said. "You can only go so far in an electric vehicle before you have to stop and plug in. It offers that attraction of getting people out here."

In other business, the council:

* Approved a shared purchase of an emergency water filtration system. Falls City Fire Chief Bob Young said the city fire department and Southwest Rural Fire Protection District would split the cost of the $2,352 system.

"We kind of live out here on an island, so Ithink it would be really good ... to have something like this in Falls City's possession," Young said, adding it could be used in the aftermath of an earthquake if waterlines were severed. "We could hook up in the (Little Luckiamute) River or even out of a (fire) tender and provide everybody in town with plenty of drinking water at no cost to the city."

* Announced that Falls City now has a Facebook page where citizens can find updates from City Hall and listings of upcoming meetings and events. For more information, go to: www.facebook.com/pages/City-of-Falls-City-Oregon/345723675514849.

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