COVINGTON, Ga. — Electric vehicle owners may soon be able to charge their vehicles’ batteries while dining at a nearby Covington Square restaurant.
Newton County commissioners recently approved the city of Covington’s request to install a two-post charging station at the rear of the Historic Courthouse on the Covington Square.
City special projects coordinator Randy Conner said Covington Electric Department workers will install the equipment — with its entire cost borne by the city, Conner said.
“This location allows us to protect the charging posts from contact with other automobiles,” he said.
“It’s also next to our (electric) transformer which would mean it would cost us, in addition to the unit that we’ve already bought ... about $1,000,” Conner said.
If placed at the front of the courthouse, the cost would be “conservatively” $40,000-$50,000, he said.
The city “currently” has no plans to charge a fee for the station’s use, Conner said.
He said the city already offers use of a dual post charging station at the Covington Welcome Center on Oak Street that is in “constant use.”
Interim County Manager Jarvis Sims said the charging station would take two parking spots now reserved for Board of Commissioners members at the corner of Usher Street and Hays Street. But other spots would be identified for their use adjacent to the current spots, Sims said.
Spaces at the charging stations will be marked “EV Charging Only,” and painted green, Conner said.
Commissioner J.C. Henderson said he was “a little concerned” that customers of nearby businesses like the Mystic Grill would take the spots — including some who arrive by bus.
“At certain times you can’t even get in back there — nobody,” Henderson said.
However, Sims said the EV station would be watched closely and offending vehicles towed if parked in the charging station’s two spots for automobiles.
Conner said those vehicle owners using the charging stations likely will be customers of the restaurants or retailers on the Square.
He said only electric automobiles could use the station because it would be too powerful for smaller vehicles like golf carts.
“It would blow a golf cart up,” he said.
Locations at the Welcome Center, in the Covington Parking Authority lot on Monticello Street, and the location behind the Historic Courthouse were the three main locations identified in a 2013 electric vehicle charging station assessment conducted in coordination with the U.S. Department of Energy, officials said.
Conner did not give a timetable for construction.