City officials are applying for a grant that would allow for the installation of an electric car charging station. The grant would be supplied by the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) in an effort to support electric vehicle-charging infrastructure.
Although it is not known how many North Royalton residents own electric cars, North Royalton Community Development Director Tom Jordan said that the overall demographic of North Royalton fits that of people who would purchase an electric vehicle. Jordan stated that “35% of all vehicles are projected to be electric by 2030. We need the infrastructure to support that.” The electric car market is growing, and the infrastructure of charging stations is expected to grow as well to allow for the owners to charge in areas other than their own homes. According to the PlugShare Map, there are several stations in Middleburg Heights and Parma. “This came about after I attended a presentation by new owners of Lordstown, who are making electric trucks,” said Council President Paul Marnecheck. “I talked to a few electric car owners and there are not a lot of locations offered to them. I think this is something a little innovative, a little out of the box.”
Jordan addressed Council at a recent Building and Building Codes Committee meeting on the grant and the future of electric vehicles. “If you accept the premise that we will have electric cars and the city will be involved, then we could go for the grant,” he said. City officials looked at six locations of city-owned property before narrowing the options down to three. They looked at Memorial Park, the York Road ballfields and the area near the YMCA. Of the three, they felt that the area around the YMCA would be the best area cost-wise. Jordan said that the other two areas would be more expensive, based on the availability of electricity. He said that, based on preliminary estimates, it would take about $10,000 over grant to install at the YMCA, about $20,000 over at the York Road fields and more than $25,000 over at Memorial Park. Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz said that of the three locations, he felt that the YMCA would be best, as there is activity in that locations all year round, versus the other two locations, where the level of activity would when various sports are not being played.
The Level 2 charging station would be available for electric cars that need a top off, which is expected to take about twenty to thirty minutes. The station would accommodate two vehicles at a time. Ward 4 Council Jeremy Dietrich, asked who would pay the electric bill. Jordan said that there would be a kiosk system and the user would pay for it. Jordan noted that “you can independently charge what you want, so since rates change every year, you can adjust it.” Ward 3 Council Joanne Krejci talked about the parking situation at the YMCA, which can be difficult at times. Jordan said that “there is a lot on the west side of the lot – in the back. So it wouldn’t be in the front.”
The grant is part of NOPEC’s Energized Community (NEC) Grant Program which provides grants to NOPEC member communities for energy-related projects, which was launched in 2018. The grants can be used for government facilities, residents, or businesses and is based on the number of households that are enrolled. Some of the projects that the grant covers are items such as LED signs, traffic signal upgrades, insulation, electrical upgrades, and LED lighting upgrades. The City of North Royalton has received this grant money before for the electrical upgrade to the city green. “Since 2001, we’ve saved Ohio residents and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars on their energy costs and awarded over $34 million in community energy efficiency grants,” according to NOPEC officials.
Jordan said that the grant would pay up to $15,000 per station for installation and help with operation for five years. “I think it would be a good thing in this day and age. Maybe start with one and see how it goes. It’s a nice feature to bring into the city,” said Jordan. “ I’m trying to keep it entirely within the grant. The grant on the electric lighting at the ball fields came in a little lower, I’m checking to see if some of that can be applied to this.”
The application for the current funding year was due at the end of September. The grant awards are not expected until after the first of the year. If the city receives the grant, Council will then have to vote to allow the city to accept it.

Contributing Writer