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New electric car chargers unveiled in Harrisville

Courtesy Photo Kevin Kardel, left, Harrisville Councilwoman Jacquelyn Schwanz, Mayor Jeff Gehring show off one of four new electric car charging stations in the city, while Rae Schwanz connects it to a car. Harrisville reached a deal with Kardel and HAGE Automotive to have the chargers installed.

HARRISVILLE — The City of Harrisville unveiled a new amenity at its harbor on Tuesday it hopes will draw more motorists to the area, and help make it more environmentally friendly.

Four new electric car chargers were placed online, which some in the city believe is a big step toward the community being more environmentally friendly, and helping small businesses downtown.

Councilwoman Jacquelyn Schwanz was a leader in the effort to find funding for the charging stations.

She said the idea of adding them made sense because of the growing popularity of electric vehicles and their impact on the environment and economy.

“I noticed a big gap in what was happening in the rest of the world and where we are here in Harrisville,” she said. “It is a first step in my goal to make Harrisville a green community and have it run on 85% of renewable energy. All we need is the buy-in from others.”

Schwanz said she is working with Consumers Energy on other initiatives, but gave few details on Tuesday.

To make the charging stations a reality, Schwanz said she contacted Consumers and was forwarded to Kevin Kardel of HAGE Automotive in Detroit.

The city leased HAGE Automotive the property where the chargers are, and it will collect revenue from the four stations. Schwanz said a portion of the profits will be shared with the city.

Added revenue is nice, Schwanz said, but the prospect of people who may never stop in Harrisville stopping to charge their cars and visiting local businesses is exciting too.

“We will be included in the mapping system of all the new electric cars sold, so we hope they come, see the beautiful view of the harbor, and take the short walk to visit our amazing small businesses,” she said. “This could really help build up our downtown.”

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