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Free Electric-Car Charging Illegal On Municipal Property In NY State

You might think that installing a charging station for plug-in electric cars shouldn’t bethat complicated. It’s essentially an electric appliance.

But in the city of Watertown, New York, City Attorney Robert J. Slye recently determined that installing charging stations in a municipal parking lot would be nothing less than unconstitutional.

The New York State Constitution, he noted, says that municipalities shall not “give or loan any money or property to or in aid of any individual, corporation or association, or private undertaking.”

And the New York State comptrollerrendered the same opinion to City Hall in Ogdensburg, New York, as well.

Similarly, charging stations announced for the city of Rochester and towns in Westchester County are not planned for municipal properties.

For the moment, it appears that no electric-car charging station will go onto municipal property in New York State unless users can be charged for the electricity.

That won’t be that hard.



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