Why is Hoboken spending tax money on electric charging stations?

Dear Editor:

The Hoboken city council voted earlier this month to spend $103,054 to install eight charging stations around the city for electric cars. Once again, this seems like another example of Hoboken wasting money on something the mayor and council should not be involved with.

Several questions come to mind: Won’t the electric charging station planned for in front of City Hall tie up traffic on Washington Street? It takes up to eight hours to charge an electric car, so will cars parked at the charging stations in the municipal garages for the day be charged extra for those spots? Or will the electricity be metered so the city isn’t paying for this electricity but instead the car owner?

The resolution says there are 3,200 electric cars within 10 miles of Hoboken, so are we inviting cars from all over the metropolitan area to come to Hoboken and charge up for free, or is the city going to be charging a fee for this service? Why is the city paying for a project that will cater mostly to rich Tesla owners, mainly from out of town, when struggling middle-class taxpayers here have to think about moving out of town?

The state is paying $54,000 of this contract, but Hoboken taxpayers are paying the other $50,000. This seems like something where the city obviously needs to say ‘no,’ given our absurdly high taxes and enormous city budget. It’s “only” $50,000, but the budget got so out of control because of hundreds of $50,000 and $100,000 items.

It can’t be Hoboken’s job to use local tax dollars to fight climate change on behalf of the country and the world. Protecting the city with projects like Rebuild by Design is different; that may well be Hoboken’s job. But the charging stations will have no effect on global warming in Hoboken and will just attract more cars and more traffic as people realize they can drive to Hoboken to charge up.

John Koppisch