Electric car charger to be unveiled

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Are you ready to plug into a greener era in motor vehicle history?

Casco sure is.

This winter, the Town of Casco installed an electric car charger behind the Casco Community Center. This charger will open the doors for people who choose to drive an electric car.

In fact, environmentally-minded people might enjoy spending some outdoor recreation time while their electric car is plugged in and charging, according to Casco Energy Committee Chairman Peg Dilley.

“In the winter, the Village has an ice skating area, snowshoe trails, cross-country ski trails and ice fishing” spots along Pleasant Lake and Parker Pond, she said.

There are more than “36 miles of trails that can be reached from village. The groomed snowmobile trails are reachable in many areas,” Dilley said.

She listed Hancock Lumber’s property that the local business has set aside for public access, including Jugtown Forest. Plus, there are trails around Owl Pond that the Casco Open Space Commission has been reviewing for preservation purposes, she said.

For people who aren’t in the mood for the great outdoors, the weight room inside the Bushido Karate Dojo and Fitness Center offers an opportunity for an indoor workout while the vehicle is charging, Dilley said.

On Wednesday, an official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held. The event kicks off at 1 p.m.; and the location of the ceremony will be the site of the new electric car charger, which has been placed behind the Casco Community Center.

This spring, the town will purchase two more chargers. Those will be installed in South Casco, and also off Route 11 on the old Memorial School property that has a baseball diamond and batting cages.

“Our town is looking ahead, keeping ahead of these energy issues,” Dilley said.

“As we move into the green world, we will be looked at as a town going green,” she said.

The funding for the charging stations was approved at Town Meeting last June. Residents voted to add the cost of purchasing and installing charging stations to the municipal budget. The amount was capped at $4,000.

Also, according to Dilley, the town could be eligible for a grant from the United States Department of Energy. The grant is designed to allow towns to lease an all-electric vehicle by matching the cost of a two-year lease, she said.

“As we move ahead, other grants will come our way because we are trying and accomplishing this movement to go green,” she said.

“I have been working on this project since June, when the citizens voted it in. I’ve been looking at how Standish and Norway have done theirs as well as how Portland and South Portland have, too,” Dilley said.

Barry White, of the Maine Electric Car Coalition, provided assistance and feedback to Dilley, she said.

She credited Casco Town Manager Dave Morton, Casco Recreation Director Beth Latsey and Lynne Potter, who also serve on the Energy Committee, for helping her to make the electric car charger a reality.

“This has been my baby,” Dilley said.

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