Wednesday, November 28, 2012

West Bloomfield Forks Over $12K In An Electrifying Greendogle

It's free, but it costs $12,000 to install and asphalt and electricity are extra.

West Bloomfield Patch: Township, Library to Share Cost of New Electric Vehicle Charging Station

The West Bloomfield Board of Trustees and the West Bloomfield Library have agreed to share the cost of a new electric vehicle charge station. The station will be the first of its kind in the township, and will be located on the Civic Center campus near township hall and the library.

"We are always looking at ways to become as green as possible," Trustee Howard Rosenberg said. "I think it's critical that the township takes this step, and hopefully it will inspire other places in the township to do the same."

Treasurer Teri Weingarden agreed, "We were the first to have a windmill and I think we need to continue the trend of being a green community. I think it will attract businesses and if we can show this is a success others will want to follow suit."

I somehow doubt that the presence of a charging station by city hall, a pretty far walk from most businesses, is going to attract much in the way of business development. Generally low taxes, and positive business environment will get you a lot farther than a single windmill-powered streetlight and an isolated electric charging station.

The township will have until next year to install the station that's being offered free to the township. The township and the library will split the cost of installing the station - approximately $7,000 to $12,000 total.

The township has yet to report if they've broken even on the windmill, so I'm glad to see they've apparently got the money to burn on this latest SWPL trend.

There's allegedly 200 electric-type vehicles in the township, so it'll take a long time to recoup this expense, assuming that is correct and people stop plugging in at home. Noted in the article, the township will charge 25 cents for 15 charging minutes up to two hours.

The library's share of $6,000 would sure have bought a whole lot of reading and audio-visual materials, and educational programs which is kinda the whole mission of a library after all.

Aside form this misguided flirtation with a township-level Solyndra, I must say the Library really is top rate with lots a great materials, a great learning environment and great staff. So we'll forgive this one misstep.

That is assuming they finally get with it and get some books by Tom Kratman, Larry Correia and Michael Z. Williamson on the shelves and while you're at it, update the John Ringo collection as you're just not keeping up.

You could get all of these authors on the shelves for under $200 and they'd actually be read - considering they've just gone and spend six grand on something the vast majority of their patrons will never use, what's the excuse for not buying that which their patrons will read?


Expatriate Owl said...

One factor that plays into the mix is that for librarians, the chickens have come home to roost.

Today, in 2012, a significant number (if not a majority) of people over about 40 years old who spent their formative years in these United States share a childhood experience of a crotchety, imperious librarian at the local public or schoolhouse library who did her (only a relative few librarians in those days were male) best to make the library visit an traumatic experience.

I had more than my share of them (though, in all fairness, I can think of a few who welcomed me to their libraries). To me, Marian the Librarian wasn't a stereotype, she was real and she was cold, mean and ugly.

And now that those children who were made to feel unwelcome in the library are adults who pay taxes and vote, they feel no allegiance towards the library profession.

So the libraries, in order to survive, have had to do more than books and other information purveying in order to win the hearts and dollars of the taxpayers.

Now that the internet has made much of the librarians's stock in trade irrelevant, it is natural and logical for the librarians to expand, wisely or otherwise, into other lines of work, such as charging up electric vehicles.

And even these new attenuations of the bibliothechnical function are questionable, inasmuch as those who can afford the electric vehicles more often than not have electrical outlets in their garages.

Aaron said...

Yes indeed. Sadly, the library foolishly jumped on this dubious green bandwagon when the money could be far better spent on its core functions.