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Electric car charging stations now possible in Carstairs

Carstairs Co-op made request

CARSTAIRS – Town council has approved changes to the municipality’s land use bylaw to allow for the installation of electrical vehicle charging stations in the municipality.

The move came by way of motion at the May 11 council meeting, which took place by teleconference.

Carstairs Co-op made the request to allow for the installation of the stations, prompting the need to amend the land use bylaw, council heard.

The amendment allows for the stations in a variety of land use zones, included general commercial district, neighbourhood commercial district, commercial service district, highway commercial district, light and medium industrial districts, public facility and recreational district, and business park district.

Mayor Lance Colby says the amendment should make the community more attractive to residents and visitors who decide to use electric vehicles.

“I think it’s a good thing to have in the bylaw, so people can install them if they want,” said Colby. “I haven’t seen many electric cars around town, not that I’ve noticed but of course we haven’t been moving around as much as we used to (due to COVID-19 restrictions). I think it is something that businesses might want.”

Charging stations look similar to regular gas pumps, with users paying to draw electrical current from the machines.

All council members took part in the May 11 meeting and all voted in favour of the amendment.

Golf course update

Meanwhile, in his report to council, the mayor gave an update on upgrade work at the municipally-owned Carstairs Community Golf Club.

“I went on a tour of the golf course with Carl (CAO Carl McDonnell) last week,” said Colby. “It looks really good for this time of year. The inside of the clubhouse also looks good and is a big change from when we took it over (last fall). There is a lot of work going on out there.”

He commended town staff for their efforts at upgrading the course.

“Hats off to everyone involved,” he said.

In other news, the town of Carstairs office will be reopening to public access this week, with safety screens and other COVID-19 protection measures in place, said McDonnell.

Mayor Colby said council will likely go back to in-person meetings starting sometime next month.