Stanislaus County, in partnership with the Oakdale Tourism and Visitors Bureau, are working together on a project to install two electric vehicle charging stations in two parking spaces in the Gene Bianchi Community Center parking lot near the Oakdale Library. After discussion by the city council, in a split 3-2 vote, the City of Oakdale moved to have two parking stalls near the library designated strictly for electric vehicles only and their charging.
There is no charge to the city for the installation and maintenance of the charging stations, those costs would be supplied the county, but council discussions centered on the need for electric vehicle charging at the library as well as the elimination of two parking spaces for a facility and area where parking can be at a premium.
Councilman Richard Murdoch questioned the true need for electric vehicle charging in a city that rarely sees an electric car on the roadways. Murdoch also thought the ratio of charging stations, two for a lot size of less than 40 stalls plus handicapped spaces, took away from the overall community usage.
Councilwoman Cherilyn Bairos also had the same concerns of premium parking spaces for the center being designated for electric vehicle charging. Bairos said she felt there was more value in the spaces and questioned the frequency of usage for electric cars in the city.
City Manager Bryan Whitemyer told the council members that the charging station stalls would be offset by additional stalls to be designated in a site bordering the lot from where a building was razed.
Councilman Tom Dunlop added that since the charging station request came from the library, the library had been told back when construction began on the community center, that they would at some point have stalls designated for library.
Mayor Pat Paul applauded the idea, as the location would allow those using the stations, especially travelers, to go to the nearby downtown area to shop or eat.
As part of the agreement, Oakdale would enter into a Memorandum of Understanding where the city allows the county to utilize two parking spaces and power costs would be paid for by the county. The two stalls will be located at the spaces in the south portion of the lot that face the library.