During the July 1 meeting of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners, board members discussed the possibility of installing electric vehicle charging stations in the county and approved an application from K.A.R.E. for Kids to use county-owned parking during this year’s Mountain Moonshine Festival.
Dawson County Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond said that he, along with representatives from the city and the school system, recently got the chance to learn more about electric vehicles and the benefits associated with them.
“I sat through a Zoom meeting that had to do with electric vehicles the other day,” Thurmond said. “They talked about the different electric vehicles and the different savings that were associated with some of those; and I think it’s worth the board and the departments taking a look at that to see exactly what’s out there, what the cost of it is and what the savings could be.”
Thurmond said that currently there are a few electric charging stations around the county, like those at the North Georgia Premium Outlets, but that with the number of residents starting to purchase and drive electric vehicles the demand for the charging stations is larger than what is currently available.
“We have lots of citizens that drive electric vehicles now and [more] charging stations around [the county] would be a good thing for them,” Thurmond said. “There’s a couple over at the outlet mall, but when somebody comes there and plugs into one of them and stays there for five hours shopping then the next person has a difficulty trying to get theirs charged.”
District 3 Commissioner Tim Satterfield said that he has spoken with Thurmond and the county’s purchasing department about what would be involved with installing more charging stations, and also about the possibility of incorporating electric vehicles into the county’s fleet.
“We’ve talked about investigating and looking into different locations where we could possibly put up charging stations… at the courthouse, some at the park, different locations throughout the county,” Satterfield said. “And also look at us possibly getting some electric vehicles and letting these departments try some of these vehicles out, especially ones that run around town and around the county.”
Satterfield said that, in speaking to people with electric vehicles and learning more about the savings associated with them, he believes that the county could benefit from installing more charging stations and from purchasing its own electric vehicles.
“I spoke to a gentleman with an electric vehicle who said he drove to Savannah and it cost him like $7,” Satterfield said. “So I’d like to do a little research, [consult] with purchasing and some other departments and have the county manager look into this.”
Thurmond said that they are trying to find time to schedule another meeting to research the electric charging stations further.
During the board’s voting session on July 1, commissioners also approved an application by K.A.R.E. for Kids regarding the upcoming 54th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22-24.
At a previous meeting, K.A.R.E. for Kids representatives asked commissioners for permission to use several county parking lots, including lots at the Dawson County Courthouse, library and health department, for parking during the festival.
District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines asked during the previous meeting about the festival whether or not the county would be covered on the organization’s insurance for the event.
“Commissioner Gaines posed the question about the insurance,” said Planning and Zoning Director Jameson Kinley, “and I wanted to state that they have given us the insurance policy and we are named on that policy.”
Commissioners unanimously approved the Mountain Moonshine Festival application to use the county’s parking during the event.