The City of Redwood Falls, in collaboration with Redwood Falls Public Utilities and SMMPA, will set up 25 new parking stalls at the RACC, five of which can be used for charging electric vehicles.

On Tuesday, the Redwood Falls City Council approved a 25 stall expansion for the Redwood Area Community Center parking lot.

The city has been wanting to add more parking space to the RACC for some time, and city staff saw an opportunity to combine that project with another. As it happens, last year the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency created a project to increase the number of charging stations for electric vehicles across southern Minnesota. SMMPA teamed up with Redwood Falls Public Utilities with the goal of setting up five stalls that can be used as charging stations for electric vehicles someplace in Redwood Falls.

The community center seemed like a logical place for the new charging stations, and as long as the parking lot was going to be reworked a bit anyway, it seemed like a chance to add more parking for regular, gasoline-powered vehicles, too.

On Tuesday, the council approved the parking lot expansion at a total project cost of $73,103, with Public Utilities funding $29,000 of that. The rest of the project is being funded by the city’s capital project fund, and from cost savings from better-than-expected bids on sealcoating Redwood’s streets later this summer.