car charging

The city of Branson owns this car-charging station in Liberty Plaza Park. City aldermen gave initial approval to an ordinance that would allow law enforcement to issue a ticket to anyone parking, rather than charging, a vehicle at charging stations.

The city of Branson wants to make sure motorists are using the city’s charging ports to charge electric vehicles, not as parking spaces.

The city’s aldermen gave initial approval to an ordinance that would allow law enforcement to ticket anyone simply parking – rather than charging an electric vehicle – at a charging port.

If approved on a final reading later this month, parking at a charging station would become a $25 fine. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $150. 

Lebeck said that’s in line with city fines regarding handicap parking. Lebeck said the city was made aware of this problem through a complaint left on the city’s website. 

“We have the ability to regulate this,” Lebeck told the aldermen. “We can say you have to be an electric vehicle and you have to be there to charge your vehicle.”

Only one of the city’s 21 charging ports is owned by the city, and that one is in Liberty Plaza Park. The other 20 are on private property. Lebeck said the city can enforce those privately owned ports through a cooperative agreement with the property owner.

“The perfect example is Tanger (Outlet Branson),” Lebeck said. “There are four charging ports. I’ve seen cars in those parking spots that shouldn’t be.”

According to the ordinance, a motorist would have to be charging a vehicle, or intending to charge a vehicle, to be parked at a port. 

Not only would drivers of internal combustion engines be in violation for parking at a charging port, but if the driver of an electric vehicle finishes charging a car, but then leaves it parked there, that driver would also be in violation.

Aldermen asked to ensure there is proper signage at the charging ports. The ordinance was approved 5-0. Aldermen Kevin McConnell was not present.

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