Blackduck City Council paves the way for new electric car charging station


Travelers driving electric cars will be able to venture a little deeper into the northwoods without running low on power as a new charging station will soon be located at the Wayside Rest Park in Blackduck.

During its Monday meeting, the Blackduck City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with Beltrami Electric Cooperative regarding the project of installing the charging station. The memorandum of understanding, according to Blackduck City Administrator Christina Regas, designates a specific space at the park where the charging station will be located. The council members voted unanimously in favor of the memorandum.

“The cost of the install, the charging unit, and the electrical is all being taken on by the co-op; the city only has to agree to allow the easement to have a space there,” Regas said after the meeting.

According to Beltrami Electric Cooperative CEO Jared Echternach, the company expects to install the new charging station shortly after the equipment arrives, which is scheduled for late March. The co-op also plans to install a charging station at Big Bog State Recreation Area near Waskish.

“Over the next several years, we want to see and encourage more adoption of electric vehicles in our service territory,” Echternach said. “One of the challenges is that we just don’t have a lot of the charging infrastructure in our area, so we wanted to spread that out a little bit.”

In another item of business, the council approved the adoption of the Nationwide Retirement Solutions Deferred Compensation Program, which is essentially a retirement savings plan for city employees. Regas said full-time and some part-time employees already contribute to the Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota, but they didn’t have any other deferred-saving options through the city.  

Taking part in the program will not have be any cost to the city.

“This deferred compensation plan will be new to the city. It will give our full- and part-time (employees), and elected officials, the opportunity to put into a retirement savings,” Regas said.