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Cassadaga eyes electric vehicle charging stations

OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen From left to right, Deputy Clerk Annette McChesney, Village Clerk and Treasurer Roxanne Astry, Cassadaga Mayor Bill Dorman, and Village Trustee Cindy Flaherty react to a story told by Village Historian John Sipos about Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pa.

CASSADAGA — Village Trustee Cathy Cruver has not been on the new job long, but she already has her eyes on the future of the village.

At a recent Board of Trustees meeting, Cruver raised the possibility of the village partnering with National Grid to install electric vehicle charging stations in the village. Cruver claims the issue was brought to her in an email from National Grid, which expressed a willingness to install the stations.

“If it doesn’t cost us, or it is a minimal cost, it’s probably a wise move,” Cruver said. “I will pursue this and I will continue to get information.”

With a rise in electric vehicles across the US, electric charging stations are becoming much more prevalent. Recently, electric vehicle charging stations were installed in the parking lot of Denny’s restaurant in Fredonia.

“You don’t see a ton of it here yet, but if you go into Buffalo, there’s a ton of it. It’s coming,” Cruver said.

According to Cruver, the village could get most or all of the associated cost paid for through National Grid’s Disadvantaged Community program.

“We may fall into what they call Disadvantaged Community eligibility,” Cruver said. She noted that on a previous map, approximately half of the village land falls within the covered areas. “There’s lots of homework to be done, but it’s worth investigating.”

Valley Outdoors, the Cassadaga Country Club, the Cassadaga ballpark, and restaurants such as JoJo Asian Cafe were among the locations Cruver discussed with the Board of Trustees.

“We can get ahead of the curve and not have to pay for it – five years from now, three years from now, it could be mandatory,” Cruver said. “If we miss out on doing it now, we might have to pay for it when it becomes mandatory.”

Also with an eye to the future, the village is advertising for bid proposals for its Bathhouse at the Beach project. The village is targeting completion of the project prior to the beach opening date of June 24.

Once the beach is open, however, the village might have a problem with staffing. With a shortage of available lifeguards and two previous lifeguards not anticipating a return this summer, the village is looking into ways to address the issue before the summer. Trustee Cindy Flaherty highlighted the costs associated with becoming a certified lifeguard and expressed a desire to find a way to incentivize people to serve as a lifeguard for the village. Trustee Cruver also expressed a desire to help attract more lifeguards for the village.

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