East Grand Forks might soon have a pair of places where people can charge electric cars.

City Council members on Tuesday didn't object to East Grand Forks Water and Light’s plan to install a “Juice Pedestal” electric vehicle charging station in a city-owned parking lot behind “restaurant row” and the River Cinema complex on DeMers Avenue. The utility would pay for that station and the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, a regional power supplier, would pay for a second one at the Fairfield Inn off Highway 2.

Each station would occupy two parking spaces and can reportedly charge a car with a range of approximately 150 miles in four to six hours, according to Kevin Hatcher, an energy and customer service specialist at the water and light utility. The hope, he explained, is that electric vehicle drivers would head to the movies or a restaurant while their car charges.

“We would like these electric vehicle drivers to enjoy the amenities of East Grand Forks,” Hatcher told council members.

Each charging station will cost about $10,000 to install.

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“We want to get them out there so we can see what kind of use they get,” Keith Mykleseth, the Water and Light’s general manager, told the Herald. “We know that it’s probably the thing of the future and we’re just trying to get out ahead of it and learn from putting in these first two stations.”

In related news, council members:

  • Gave preliminary consideration to a development agreement with Judd Stauss, a former East Grand Forks Green Wave hockey star, that would figuratively pave the way for a new residential subdivision at the intersection of Bygland Road Southeast and 13th Street Southeast. Such agreements are common when a developer wants to build a new neighborhood. The tentative one between East Grand Forks’ city government and Stauss has a wrinkle that’s uncommon for the city: it stipulates that Stauss would pay for the construction of new streets there, rather than the more typical arrangement through which the city pays for the streets and then is paid back via “special assessments” that are ultimately charged to new homeowners.
  • Gave city staff the go-ahead to ask for $15,000 for a lot at 1920 20th Street Northwest. A property owner north of the parcel wants to buy it, and an appraisal commissioned by the city pegged that figure for the value of the lot.