To complete the requirements to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout must plan, develop and give leadership to a service project. Maxwell Halkenhauser of Denville, NJ decided that his Eagle Scout project would focus on the goal of having an Electric Vehicle charger installed in the town of Denville.
Max had previously seen two EV chargers installed at the restaurant Nauna’s in Montvale, NJ. He liked the idea of EV chargers for public use, and soon recognized that the biggest obstacle to the completion of his project would be the financial aspect.
What followed would likely be a good model for our elected officials. Max approached a long-time supporter of the Boy Scouts, who also happened to be a town council member, about the project. That council member opened the door to preliminary meetings with the town manager and the mayor! Max began to understand that there would be many t’s to cross and i’s to dot before the charger would be operational.
There wasn’t money in the town’s budget for the project; but that wouldn’t stop Max. His research on sustainable initiatives led him to Sustainable Jersey, a non-profit organization that provides grant funding for a variety of projects. They awarded a grant of $10,000 toward the budget of approximately $14,000 required to complete the project. The project was then presented to the Denville Rotary Club and they were very receptive to the project and the need for an additional $4,000, and it was approved. The town promised to place an engraved bench at the EV charger site to honor the Rotary.
The process was very educational for Max who did lots of research on sustainable initiatives and funding. He learned great lessons on obtaining cooperation from both the public and private sectors to provide a service of great benefit to the community. And he’s taken one small step to reduce the carbon footprint of Denville!
The EV charger was installed by Bryan Electric of Trenton, a company that has already installed more than 100 such chargers in this fledgling industry. Tim Bryan, Jr. has worked closely with Max to help him understand the technical aspects of the charger and what was required in order to complete the installation. The EV charger is located on Church Street Lot in Denville, next to the local post office and directly behind a popular Walgreen’s, where it will be available to the public free of charge.