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Summit County Council takes up new home for High Valley Transit, fees for EV charging stations

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KPCW
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A level II electric vehicle charger in use at Ecker Hill Middle School.

The Summit County Council could approve a nearly $3 million contract for a new High Valley Transit facility at its meeting Wednesday.

The county council also may approve an agreement with High Valley Transit to install infrastructure for the new facility near US-40, which will include a bus barn and maintenance space.

When complete, High Valley will use it exclusively and the temporary white tents at Ecker Hill Middle School will disappear.

During its work session, the council will discuss charging for a service that it currently offers for free: electric vehicle battery charging.

The county owns 12 level II charging stations and three fast chargers. The majority of users frequent the fast chargers. The county is considering charging .43 cents per kilowatt-hour at the fast chargers. That means an electric sedan fully charging a nearly empty battery would cost about $31.

Summit County Manager Tom Fisher said fast chargers are much more expensive – on average, one fast charger costs nearly $16,000 a year to operate compared to $1,700 for a level II charger. Fast chargers are also becoming more popular, and the county doesn’t see a need to offer the service for free any longer.

“I think it’s a transition away from kind of the public sector pushing electric vehicle use," Fisher said. "Of course we will still do so for our own fleet, but electrical vehicle use is certainly getting more popular, and there’s more private infrastructure available for people to use to charge their vehicles.”

Charging for chargers could bring in over $20,000 to the county annually.

Additionally, the council could approve members to serve on the County Manager Selection Committee. The committee will be made up of five to nine residents. It will be tasked with interviewing candidates and recommending at least three to the county council, who will make the final decision.

Fisher’s last day with the county is Friday. Deputy County Manager Janna Young will take over in the interim until a successor is hired.

Update: The Summit County Council amended its agenda to include a consideration to buy over 200 acres of land behind and adjacent to the business center that includes the Park City Gun Club. The land will be recreational open space and will cost $6.5 million. Summit County Manager Tom Fisher told KPCW that funds from the open space bond approved by voters last year will likely be used for the purchase. The council could consent to the agreement Wednesday.

The council’s work session begins at 3:30 in-person at the Richins Building in Kimball Junction. Virtual attendance via Zoom is also available and a link with the agenda can be found here.

Parker Malatesta covers Park City for KPCW. Before coming to NPR, he spent one year as a general assignment reporter for TownLift in Park City. He previously was the news editor at The News Record, the student paper at the University of Cincinnati. He loves running, reading, and urban planning.