NCU, NCTC host downtown ribbon cutting for new vehicle charging station

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

Nebraska City Utilities and Nebraska City Tourism and Commerce Inc. hosted a Friday afternoon ribbon cutting for the city’s new electric vehicle charging station in the Sunken Parking Lot in the 700 block of Central Avenue.

The new station will allow vehicles equipped for fast charging to recharge in about an hour, as compared to the 8 to 12 hours needed to charge a vehicle on the city’s exis.ting chargers, said NCU General Manager Jeff Kohrs.

The location was chosen to bring drivers downtown to enjoy the shopping, museums, and restaurants while their vehicle charges, he said.

Nebraska City Mayor Bryan Bequette said that Nebraska City “maintains its history while stepping off into the future” with the addition of the new charging station.

The new station is the latest in a series of historical firsts in the community, said Bequette, that began in 1862 when the Prairie Motor rolled onto the landing at Nebraska City as a way to revolutionize freighting across Nebraska.

Bequette said the Prairie Motor, which most residents call the “Steam Wagon,” barely made it out of Nebraska City before breaking down and lending its name to one of the city’s streets.

In 1889, public transportation came to Nebraska City, said Bequette, when horse- or mule-drawn trolleys would take Nebraska Citians from West Central to the railroad depot for a nickel. The trolleys were discontinued in 1910, he said, after automobiles began to come into common use in the city.

Col. William Hayward brought the first car to Nebraska City in 1901, said Bequette, who added that the city installed downtown parking meters in 1925 to help pay for the cost of maintaining the city’s brick streets.

Kohrs said that no taxpayer money was used to install the charging station, which was paid for primarily by a grant from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy.

Nebraska City Utilities General Manager Jeff Kohrs cut the ribbon on the city’s new electric vehicle charging station in downtown Nebraska City on Friday afternoon, Oct. 15. The station, located in the Sunken Parking Lot in the 700 block of Central Avenue, is an addition to the city’s electric vehicle charging stations already in the Sunken Parking Lot, at City Hall, and at the Best Western on the south end of Nebraska City.