With more than 1,500 plug-in electric vehicles on Kentucky roads, the Frankfort Plant Board is hoping to catch up with other nearby cities that offer charging stations and reward environmentally conscious motorists by building three such facilities in the capital city.
The project would be a partnership between the city commission and the municipal utility, with FPB contributing roughly $60,000 for the charging stations and equipment installation. The city would provide the locations and pay FPB for electricity.
At Tuesday’s meeting, FPB directors unanimously voted to move forward with the project and directed engineering department staff to present plans to the city commission for its approval.
Each of the three stations around town would feature two charging ports. While we commend the municipal utility for its forward thinking, we suggest further consideration of the station locations — currently planned for Olive Street behind the old train depot, at the Franklin County Farmers Market Pavilion off Wilkinson Boulevard and at Juniper Hill Park off Louisville Road.
FPB board member Stephen Mason, who asked whether such facilities will also be built in various spots in Franklin County, made a legitimate point — the three proposed stations would be placed within a mile or so of each other.
“I just think we need to get one closer to the east side,” he told fellow board members. “It would be nice to see what the entire county does with access to a charging station versus three within a mile.”
In defense of the proposed sites, FPB Chairwoman Anna Marie Pavlik Rosen stated the goal would be to get folks from the county to come downtown. She added that there are charging stations on private property in the far eastern and western corners of the county.
We encourage the municipal utility to look at the broader picture by choosing charging station locations that accommodate the most drivers. One station downtown and one station on both the east and west sides would give FPB a farther reach — and still accomplish the goal of attracting people to downtown Frankfort.