Earlier this month we reported that a contract between Tesla and the city of Aberdeen that allowed for eight Supercharger stalls to be installed in town was in jeopardy of being nullified, following questions raised over the violation of a state conflict of interest code by the city mayor.
We’re happy to report that the City Council has unanimously approved the renewal of the contract made with Tesla, citing application for the Superchargers began before Erik Larson became mayor. Also noted during yesterday’s City Council meeting was Tesla’s lease of city-owned property for the Supercharger station was not exclusive to Tesla vehicles. “They don’t control the entire lot,” explained City Council Attorney Eric Nelson. Though the lot currently has eight Tesla Supercharger stalls on site, Nelson explained that additional charging stations, presumably J1772 Level 2 chargers, were in consideration for installation on the same lot.
Tesla’s Aberdeen Supercharger was opened in December and located on a lot that was formerly a Chevron station. The site is currently a vacant lot and will be used for parking by visitors to the city’s proposed 20,000-square foot ‘Gateway Center’ retail outlet.
Issues over a potential conflict of interest came to light after Mayor Larson, who approved of the Aberdeen Supercharger station, did not disclose stock ownership in Tesla Motors in meeting minutes. Though the amount of his ownership was negligible, a question over ethics nevertheless caused concerns among local townspeople that the Supercharger was to be built on city-owned land.
Less than a week after our initial report, the Mayor of Aberdeen agreed to pay a fine of $500 for inadvertently violating the state ethics code regarding conflict of interest. Yesterday’s City Council meeting resulted in the renewal of Tesla’s contract with the city. The Aberdeen Supercharger station will remain open.