These two electric vehicle charging stations at the water treatment plant on Warfield Avenue are available to the public for free. The City Council may reconsider whether taxpayers should continue to provide the service.
VENICE — The days of a free “fill-up” at a city-owned or -operated electric vehicle charging stations could be coming to an end.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to have staff compile an inventory of the stations, including the cost to install and operate them, the fee for using them and where the money goes.
The motion, made by Council Member Dick Longo, also included stations planned to be installed.
“Electric vehicles are proliferating, and I for one am concerned that a number of residents — taxpayers — are paying potentially for other people’s fuel, which happens to be electricity in this case,” he said. “I do not believe that they should be getting subsidies, whether it’s from the federal government, the state, the county, or certainly not the city of Venice.”
Charging city vehicles is different because “we’re paying for fuel one way or another,” but it’s not fair for taxpayers to be paying for other people, residents or not, whether the fuel in question is “electricity, gas or, ultimately, hydrogen,” he said.
Asked what his intent is, Longo said that for the present “I just want a picture — a very specific status.”
Vice Mayor Jim Boldt seconded the motion, citing the Council’s fiscal responsibility.
“This is something we need to know,” he said.
Websites show free charging stations on public property at City Hall, the Utilities Department, Centennial Park, the William H. Jervey Jr. Venice Public Library and the Venice Police Department.
There are also two free charging stations at Sharky’s on the Pier that are owned by the business.
Two fast-charging stations are being brought online at Dr. Fred Albee Park; there will be a fee for those.
Most of the stations are part of FPL’s EVolution program, which provides the stations and installation for free, with the city paying for the electricity.
Also on Tuesday the Council:
• Authorized Mayor Nick Pachota to ask Sarasota County to create an anchorage limitation area in Roberts Bay, to regulate long-term mooring of boats.
• Approved a $6,486,955 budget amendment.
• Accepted utilities and improvements installed by 2705 Venice Properties LLC on Curry Lane.
• Authorized Pachota to work with City Manager Ed Lavallee to start planning for the city’s centennial. He said he envisions a year-long celebration running from 2026, the 100th anniversary of when Venice was incorporated as a town, to 2027, when it was made a city.
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