Mark Camp, left, hands Arty Ledoux the keys to the new car with Cornelia Warren Community Association President Ed Symbol and Mayor Mike Sanphy. Chance Viles/American Journal

WESTBROOK — The city has added an electric car to its vehicle fleet and has assigned it to the new Office of Veterans Services.

The city has a three-year lease on the 2019 Hyundai Kona EV, with a purchase option, from Rowe Hyundai on Main Street.

“We would like to individually recognize (Rowe Ford president) Wally and (salesman) Mark Camp for their support of this program and Arty Ledoux, for his willingness to take on these additional responsibilities, including the completion of national training and accreditation,” Mayor Mike Sanphy said last week.

Ledoux, also the public services operations manager for the city, was named director of veteran services in August. Certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, he is one of the few municipal level veterans services directors in the state. He’ll use the car to take veterans to appointments and also to take his services on the road to veterans who need them.

“A lot of these veterans were hurt mentally or physically, and the paperwork for benefits is so difficult they don’t even do it, and these are benefits they earned,” Sanphy said in an earlier interview.

“I think it’s great,” Mark Camp said. “It is important what they are doing, setting up a way for veterans to come and work with Arty Ledoux, and not having to travel long distances on their own. Being a veteran, I know the importance of this.”

Westbrook received funding for the car from Efficiency Maine, Hyundai Motor Company, Rowe Hyundai of Westbrook and the Cornelia Warren Community Association. With that funding, the car will cost the city $2,730.36 over the three years.

The city, which installed its first municipal electric vehicle charging stations in 2018, is looking to possibly install another at the municipal parking lot on Mechanic Street.

“Electronic vehicles have been around for a while, but putting them to commercial use is a great thing, it’s cost-saving, environmentally friendly, but we need to see how it lasts,” Sanphy said. “I am optimistic it’ll be the thing of the future but until we try it out, we won’t know for sure.”

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