Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

Crescent City Harbor District Commissioners took no action during their Oct. 6 meeting, but will further discuss a proposal from Recargo Inc. to build and operate a universal electric vehicle charging station at the south end of Crescent City. While they had many questions, board members seemed interested in leasing a small area of property behind the Fisherman’s Restaurant & Lounge to Recargo.

At the regular meeting Oct. 6, commissioners were told of the proposal by Harbormaster Charlie Helm and Deputy Harbormaster Lane Tavasci.

“They’re looking for partners who will give Recargo, through a licensing agreement, exclusive rights to construct and operate a charging facility on our property for 10 years, with an option for 10 more years,” Helm said.

Tavasci said he spoke to Recargo officials and told them the city already has a Tesla charging station which is free to use.

“It’s about $1.40 per vehicle charge, that [Recargo] are going to collect on this,” Tavasci said. “I told them we already have five Tesla stations here, about half a mile away.” Tavesci said he told a Recargo official that visitors will likely Google search charging stations and opt for the free Tesla station over one that costs money.

“His first statement was, ‘Well, Tesla’s allows for only Tesla vehicles.’” Tavasci said, “but I actually saw a Volkswagen in the Tesla spot, and I stopped and spoke with him for about a half hour while it was charging. It was a Volkswagen, there were no special adaptors, and there’s no special switch that you turn on at the Tesla side.”

For use of the property, Recargo will pay the district $4,800 a year, with payments starting after construction is complete. Addressing concerns that the station might not generate $4,800 a year, Lane said Recargo makes is profit from subscriptions, not individual charging fees. Tavasci said Recargo will supply signage, permits, and construction costs.

The site

Just off U.S. 101, behind the Fisherman’s Restaurant is a small area which would be suitable for the four-space charging station. Tavasci said while the District would be responsible for keeping the area clean, Recargo would do all technical and maintenance work.

“Basically, once it’s installed and up and running, they send the Harbor a check for $1,000,” he said. “Even if they take their system out a week later, the $1,000 is ours to keep.” He said annual payments will start after all permitting is done and the station is operational.

The station would consist of three regular and one ADA-accessible space.

Commissioner Wes White asked if the $1,000 deposit would essentially “tie up” the land, keeping the district obligated to using it only for the Recargo project. Tavasci said either party can back out of the lease at any time.

“To us, it’s no cost out of pocket. We want charging stations anyway, and we are looking to make that part of our solar system if that happens,” Tavesci said. “This way, it’s a benefit to us.”

After some discussion and questions about exclusivity, locations and costs, the board directed staff to do more research and revisit the issue at its Oct. 18 meeting.

According to a Recargo release, the project will essentially link the entire state with universal charging stations for electric vehicles, so that EV drivers can venture anywhere in the state without running out of power.

Recargo is an energy service company established in 2010 that focuses exclusively on the electric vehicle industry. More information can be found at www.recargo.com.

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