City Council agreed to give back a grant from Efficiency Maine Trust for four electric car charging stations so it can accept a Central Maine Power grant that will yield higher savings.

CMP would give up to $4,000, or 80% of the cost, per charging station, according to Economic Development Director Thomas Kittredge. The change would save the city over $7,000 on the project overall.

He projects the four stations will cost the city $28,317 before a $2,562 five-year warranty cost, he said. ReVision Energy would contract to have the work done and set up the maintenance schedule.

The city had previously been approved for the Efficiency Maine grant for about $2,500 per charge port, but the two grants cannot be combined, he said. Kittredge did not get an answer from Efficiency Maine about the city’s standing with the organization if it gives the grant back, but said he did not think giving it back would be an issue or held against the city.

The stations will go in the parking lot at the intersection of Bridge, Front and Pierce streets, he said. The level two chargers will be able to fully charge a vehicle in 10 hours. The four charge ports will be able to be used simultaneously.

Councilor Mike Hurley said he previously was skeptical about having the stations at that location, but now thinks they will be widely used by Front Street Shipyard employees, McCrumb employees and people coming to walk along the Rail Trail or Harbor Walk.

Most councilors were in favor of charging people to use the stations. The Beaver Street chargers are free. Hurley said the city patched those chargers to a street light meter, so it is unclear exactly how much they cost the city per year. Kittredge said the city can decide the cost of use after the stations are built.

Councilor Brenda Bonneville was concerned that the charging technology might become obsolete in the next five years. Kittredge said there is currently nothing in the industry to suggest that the technology will change that rapidly.

He said the stations were supposed to be built by November 2020, but did not give a reason as to why they were not. Currently the only charging stations in Belfast are two at Beaver Street and one at Stanley (formerly Dutch) Chevrolet.