SIOUX CITY | Sioux City has installed the first wheelchair charging station in the state at its Martin Luther King Ground Transportation Center.
The station, which sits at Fifth and Nebraska streets, is equipped with a standard power cord and charger that allows people who use wheelchairs or scooters an opportunity to charge at a location other than their home. A grant awarded to the Siouxland District Health Department funded the proejct.
A city news release said it will provide added security for people who use electric mobility devices since the fear of losing a charge often prevents, limits or stops participation in community events.
"We all know how frustrating it can be to have our cellphone die, but imagine the worry one has when relying on a scooter or a motorized wheelchair to navigate the city," City Councilman Alex Watters, who himself uses a motorized wheelchair, said in the release. "Hopefully this device can ease their worries and give them a little extra power to get on their way."
The stations are being installed at various locations around the country to create more inclusive communities. They were designed and built by Darrin Umbarger, a wheelchair user who is a native of Oregon.
The project was completed through a partnership of the Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council and the health department's Disability and Health Coalition.