NEWPORT — During its regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 16, the Newport City Council approved four policy recommendations aimed at increasing the local availability of electric vehicle charging stations.
At the council’s direction, city staff will develop locations where urban renewal funds can be used to incentivize the installation and maintenance of charging stations by private owners, as well as examine city-owned locations where privately owned charging stations can be installed, such as the south side of city hall and Ernest Bloch Wayside.
Staff will also initiate the process of amending city code to require developments of a certain size to install electrical conduit that can support future electric charging stations. This would involve adopting an Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services code implemented in October 2017, which is mandatory in Portland, Eugene, Salem and Gresham but optional elsewhere. It dictates that new construction with parking facilities of more than 50 open spaces must make 5 percent of them available for future installation of charging stations by equipping them with sufficient electrical infrastructure.
Council also approved the development of a policy allowing city employees to charge personal vehicles at worksites. The policy would include a monthly payroll deduction to offset the employee’s use of electricity.
In a move to encourage the city to move toward electric vehicle use itself, the council also voted to require departments making requests for vehicle purchases in future annual budgets to consider and present options for electric or hybrid models.