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City of Lake Geneva looks into installing electric vehicle charging stations – Lake Geneva Regional News

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Lake Geneva officials are considering installing electric vehicle charging stations within the community, similar to a charging station that has been installed at the Kwik Trip gas station at 710 Williams Street.
Lake Geneva officials want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to automobile manufacturers producing more electric-fueled vehicles.
City officials are studying the possibility of installing electric vehicle charging stations within the community.
Members of the tourism commission discussed the issue during their Jan. 10 meeting. The issue also has been discussed during public works committee meetings.
Parking Operations Manager Seth Elder said he has contacted charging station vendors and communities that have installed charging stations to receive more information, but one of the roadblocks is that the State of Wisconsin only allows utility companies to sell electricity to customers.
Elder said there currently is proposed legislation in the State of Wisconsin, which would allow municipalities to own and operate electric vehicle charging stations and sell the electric fuel to the public. However, Elder said there also is proposed legislation against such a measure.
“Meaning that there are people that feel in order to move forward with electric vehicles as a more widely embraced concept, it’s going to be necessary for municipalities to get involved in terms of building, managing and operating electric vehicle charging stations,” he said.
Elder said the cost to install an electric vehicle charging station would be between $15,000 and $20,000. He said if Lake Geneva was allowed to charge for the electric fuel for eight hours a day for five years, the city would obtain about $25,000 in revenue during that time.
“If it’s a $15,000 or $20,000 investment, after five years you would have made back your money and generated about $5,000 in revenue,” Elder said. “Right now, we can’t do that because we can’t bill a consumer for electric power because we’re not a utility.”
One option would be for the city to install electric charging stations and not charge people for the electric fuel. Elder said the City of Sturgeon Bay recently installed an electric charging station where people do not have to pay to charge their vehicles.
“They put this thing in place for an educational sort of a unit to allow people to charge without paying for it,” Elder said.
According to Elder, the Tesla company has installed electric charging stations at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Abbey Resort and Lake Lawn Resort. He said an electric charging station also has been installed at the Kwik Trip gas station and convenience store at 710 Williams St.
“That’s not a machine where you step up and swipe a credit card,” Elder said. “It’s a machine where you pull up and use, just like the one in Sturgeon Bay.”
Stephanie Klett, president and CEO of VISIT Lake Geneva, said electric charging stations have been installed throughout Door County.
“You can go around to all of Door County, village to village, and you will have a map of the EV stations,” Klett said. “So they have lead the way. So it is being done without the legislature at the state level.”
Klett said installing electric charging stations is something the city should consider, because more vehicles will be operated with electric fuel in the upcoming years.
“I think it’s imperative,” Klett said. “First of all, it’s where energy is going over the next decade.”
Alderwoman Mary Jo Fesenmaier, who also is a member of the tourism commission, said she would like the City of Lake Geneva to install an electric vehicle charging station by this summer.
She said the city could apply for a federal grant or obtain a grant from the tourism commission to help pay for the station.
“I think it would be nice to get the jump on it, so we can pilot it and figure out the things that might go wrong ahead of time,” Fesenmaier said. “So when we eventually can charge for it, we already have a system that works.”
Brian Waspi, chairperson of the tourism commission, said he would like the city to install a charging station, since they are already being installed at the local resorts.
Waspi said several automobile manufacturers are proposing to only produce electric-fueled vehicles within the next five years.
“If you look at what the auto manufacturers are projecting, I think it’s going to be here faster than we think,” Waspi said. “It could go from something that’s nice to have to something that could be a problem if we don’t have it before we expect it.”
Alderman Richard Hedlund, who also is a member of the tourism commission, said the city could contact local legislatures to obtain support for allowing Lake Geneva to implement a premiere resort area tax, which could be used to help pay for the charging stations.
Hedlund said he is not certain whether the city would be able to obtain a grant from the tourism commission, because those grants are awarded for events and activities that help attract visitors to Lake Geneva.
He said more research needs to be done before the city considers installing electric vehicle charging stations.
“Right now, it’s pretty premature. If we pay $15,000 to put in a charging station, we can’t charge for it,” Hedlund said. “It’s a convenience for the visitors. Unless we have a whole bunch of them, how many people is that going to bring into the city?”
Klett said electric charging stations would be a benefit for people who are visiting Lake Geneva.
“There’s nothing wrong with us being a convenience for visitors,” Klett said. “We want visitors to have things that are easily accessible and not taxed on everything.”
Elder said he plans to continue to research the issue and contact other electric charging station vendors to obtain more estimated costs for installing such equipment.
“I think there’s a little bit of hurry up and wait with the state legislature,” Elder said. “I think I need to seek out two or three more vendors to make sure we’re talking the same ballpark in terms of installation costs and operating costs and things of that nature.”
Members of the tourism commission and public works committee are set to discuss the issue again during future meetings.
Winner — Sabai Sabai Thai & Sushi Restaurant, 306 Center St., Lake Geneva. 
Hometown favorites — Moy’s Restaurant, 3 N. Wisconsin St., Elkhorn; and Two Sisters Thai, 207 N. Main St., Walworth. 
Winner — Next Door Pub & Pizzeria, 411 Interchange N., Lake Geneva. 
Hometown favorites — Flat Iron Tap, 150 Center St., Lake Geneva; and Papa’s Blue Spruce Resort, W4086 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Geneva
 Winner — Duesterbeck’s Brewing Company, N5543 County Road O, Elkhorn, 262-729-9771, dbcbrewery.com
Hometown favorites — Papa’s Blue Spruce Resort, W4086 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Geneva; and Topsy Turvy Brewery, 727 Geneva St., Lake Geneva. 
Winner — Mars Resort, W4098 South Shore Drive, Lake Geneva.
Hometown favorites — Papa’s Blue Spruce Resort, W4086 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Geneva; and Whiskey Ranch, W9002 Highway 11, Delavan. 
Winner — Grandma Vickie’s Café, 522 Broad St., Lake Geneva. 
Hometown favorites — Simple Café, 525 Broad St., Lake Geneva; and Joni’s Diner, 111 S. Wells St., Lake Geneva. 
Winner — Duesterbeck’s Brewing Company, N5543 County Road O, Elkhorn, 262-729-9771, dbcbrewery.com
Hometown favorite — Topsy Turvy Brewery, 727 Geneva St., Lake Geneva
Winner — Papa’s Blue Spruce Resort, W4086 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Geneva.
Hometown favorites — Flat Iron Tap, 150 Center St., Lake Geneva; and Chuck’s Lakeshore Inn, 352 Lake St., Fontana.
Winner — Jonathan’s on Brick Street, 116 E. Walworth Ave., Delavan, 262-725-7715.
Hometown favorites — Maxwell Mansion, 304 S. Wells St., Lake Geneva; and Papa’s Blue Spruce Resort, W4086 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Geneva. 
Winner — Boxed and Burlap, 100 E. Geneva Square, Lake Geneva; and 2935 Highway 67, Delavan. 
Hometown favorites — Inspired, 883 W. Main St., Lake Geneva; and Avant Cycle Café, 234 Broad St., Lake Geneva. 
Winner — Jonathan’s on Brick Street, 116 E. Walworth Ave., Delavan, 262-725-7715.
Hometown favorites — Café Calamari, 10 E. Geneva St., Williams Bay; and Maxwell Mansion, 304 S. Wells St., Lake Geneva. 
Winner — Jonathan’s on Brick Street, 116 E. Walworth Ave., Delavan, 262-725-7715.
Hometown favorites — Hunt Club Steakhouse, 555 Hunt Club Court, Lake Geneva; and Fire2Fork, 2484 County Road O South, Delavan. 
Hometown favorites — Hawk’s View Golf Club, 7377 Krueger Road, Lake Geneva; and Fire2Fork, 2484 County Road O South, Delavan. 
Winner — Kilwin’s Lake Geneva, 772 W. Main St., Lake Geneva. 
Hometown favorites — Frosty Moose, 35 W. Geneva St., Williams Bay; and Meggy Moo’s Dairy Ripple, 600 Kenosha St., Walworth.
Winner (tie) — Café Calamari, 10 E. Geneva St., Williams Bay; and Holi Cannoli, N7065 Highway 12, Elkhorn.
Hometown favorite — Sweet Aroma Ristorante, W7404 County Road X, Delavan
Winner — Los Tres Hermanos, 31 N. Wisconsin St., Elkhorn.
Hometown favorites — Taqueria El Gallo De Oro, 820 Williams St., Lake Geneva; and Hernandez Mexican Restaurant, 212 S. 7th St., Delavan. 
Winner — Next Door Pub & Pizzeria, 411 Interchange N., Lake Geneva, 262-248-9551, www.nextdoorpub.com.
Hometown favorites — Oakfire, 831 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva; and Enzo’s Pizza, 464 E. Geneva St., Elkhorn. 
Winner — Riga-Tony’s Delicatezzi Italiano, 5576 Highway 50, Delavan, 262-740-2540, rigatonysdelavan.com.
Hometown favorites — Green Grocer & Deli, 24 W. Geneva St., Williams Bay; and The Cheese Box, 801 S. Wells St., Lake Geneva. 
Winner — Jonathan’s on Brick Street, 116 E. Walworth Ave., Delavan, 262-725-7715.
Hometown favorites — Café Calamari, 10 E. Geneva St., Williams Bay; and Hunt Club Steakhouse, 555 Hunt Club Court, Lake Geneva.
Winner — Jonathan’s on Brick Street, 116 E. Walworth Ave., Delavan, 262-725-7715.
Hometown favorites — Geneva ChopHouse, 7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva; and Hunt Club Steakhouse, 555 Hunt Club Court, Lake Geneva.
Winner — Mars Resort, W4098 South Shore Drive, Lake Geneva.
Hometown favorites — Jonathan’s on Brick Street, 116 E. Walworth Ave., Delavan; and Papa’s Blue Spruce Resort, W4086 Lakeshore Drive, Lake Geneva.
Winner — Studio Winery + Geneva Lake Distilling, 401 E. Sheridan Springs Road, Lake Geneva. 
Hometown favorites — Jonathan’s on Brick Street, 116 E. Walworth Ave., Delavan; and Barrique Bistro & Wine Bar, 835 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva. 
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Lake Geneva officials are considering installing electric vehicle charging stations within the community, similar to a charging station that has been installed at the Kwik Trip gas station at 710 Williams Street.

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